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Water protection - Appointing commissioners

Are you allowed to discharge more than 750 cubic metres of wastewater per day into a body of water in your company? Then you must appoint a water protection officer (Gewässerschutzbeauftragte - GSB). Do the installations in your company pose particular hazards? If so, this may also apply to smaller quantities of wastewater. This includes companies that store or use substances hazardous to water (e. g. electroplating plants). You can also appoint several people as water protection officers.

If you have appointed immission control officers or waste officers, they can also perform the tasks of water protection officers.

The plant management responsible for the waste water facilities or another appointed person is the water protection officer in the case of

  • Waste water discharges from local authorities,
  • associations formed from regional authorities and
  • water associations under public law.

Water protection officers have the following duties:

  • They advise the company on all matters of water protection. When new production processes are introduced that may have an impact on water protection, they must ask the plant operators for their opinion in good time.
  • You monitor compliance with regulations, conditions and requirements in water protection, for example by
    • regularly inspect the waste water facilities or
    • measure the waste water according to quantity and characteristics.
  • They shall communicate the results of the inspections to those responsible and propose measures to eliminate deficiencies.
  • They work towards this,
    • that in-house procedures are developed and introduced to avoid or reduce waste water generation, and
    • that proposals for more environmentally friendly production are developed and implemented.
  • Once a year, the water protection officers shall report to you on the measures taken and intended in the enterprise.

Note: In individual cases, the authority may regulate the tasks of water protection officers in more detail, extend or restrict them. However, self-monitoring must not be impaired as a result.

You must support the water pollution control officers in the performance of their duties, for example by

  • providing them with rooms, facilities and equipment as required, and
  • enabling them to take part in training courses.

The water protection officers must be able to bring suggestions and concerns directly to the attention of the relevant body in the company hierarchy. They must not discriminate against water protection officers because of the performance of their duties.


You may only assign the office of water protection officer to employees who have the necessary technical knowledge and reliability.

The employees can prove their expertise in two waysis:

  • by completing a training course (e.g. at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or Chamber of Trade responsible for your company) or
  • through many years of practical experience in handling the equipment

Responsible department

the water authority

Water authority is,

  • if your place of business is in a rural district: the Landratsamt (district administration)
  • if your place of business is in a city district: the city administration
  • is for operating sites, insofar as they are not subject to mining supervision, on which
    a) at least one installation marked with the letter E in column d of Annex 1 to the Ordinance on Installations Requiring a Permit,
    b) at least one operating area pursuant to § 3 para. 5a of the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG) or
    c) at least one installation requiring a permit pursuant to § 60 para. 3 sentence 1 no. 2 and 3 of the Federal Water Act (WHG) is present or is to be erected: the Regional Council


You must first inform your works council or staff council about the planned appointment of water protection officers and the tasks assigned to them.

You must notify the competent authority in writing of the appointment of water protection officers. In the notification, you must describe the tasks of the water protection officers in detail.

Caution: You must notify the competent authority as soon as possible of any changes in the scope of duties and the dismissal of water protection officers.

Required documents



The information platform "Operational Environmental Protection in Baden-Württemberg" offers you further information on the topic of"Operational Representative for Water Protection".