• Hanover Regional Finance Office – representing all state structural engineering offices

  • Data acquisition and import, condition assessment, remediation planning, management

  • 800,000 hectares of civil and military real estate

  • 12,000 km of sewers


Twenty years ago, the maintenance and management of sewage facilities posed enormous challenges to the building authorities in the Federal Republic of Germany. The solution provided by the ISYBAU action concept and, later, the use of the KanDATA (later BaSYS) sewer information system from Barthauer Software GmbH set the standard for cost-effective and efficient sewer documentation.

1990: The challenge of uncollected data

The Federal Republic of Germany owns approximately 70,000 civilian properties and more than 4,000 military properties with a total area of approximately 800,000 hectares. The ability to use the real estate depends decisively on a functional infrastructure. This requires its own supply and disposal networks, such as canal networks. The sustainable management of water resources must ensure that future generations will have access to water in sufficient quantity and quality. At the same time, financial resources must be used economically and in a targeted manner. Within the framework of preventive environmental protection on the basis of the state water laws, the federal state administration is obliged to maintain the condition of sewage treatment plants in accordance with the state of the art.(1)

In total, there are more than 12,000 kilometers of wastewater pipes on properties. Networks that need to be inspected, maintained and renovated in order to bring them to an environmentally acceptable level. In part, properties that are no longer used for military purposes must be transferred to civilian use following reunification. The data for the pipelines come from the public building authorities of the 16 federal states. In addition, the administrative offices work closely with service providers such as engineering and inspection companies as well as the construction industry. Data must be transferred continuously to and from external contractors. Prior to 1991, a multitude of data formats coexisted, especially in the area of channel condition. Redundancies in data management complicate the work and reduce cost effectiveness.

1) Source: Wastewater Working Aids, preface to the second edition

Chaos becomes a concept

The problem of the diversity of data formats has to be solved urgently, otherwise a data chaos may occur in the whole of Germany. Under these conditions, efficient administration is impossible. In the early 1990s, members of the federal and state governments formed the ISYBAU working group on wastewater. The ITWH (Institut für technischwissenschaftliche Hydrologie) was commissioned by the ISYBAU to participate as an advisor in the development of a uniform data transfer format for sewer data. A representative survey of the software companies on the market at the time (including BARTHAUER) is intended to help establish the requirements for such a universal interface on as broad a basis as possible. The results serve as the basis for the new data transfer format. The ISYBAU working group’s ISYBAU action concept and the first ISYBAU exchange formats are a milestone in the standardization of work processes in the wastewater world. Originally developed exclusively for federal government purposes, ISYBAU is being adopted by the industry at lightning speed.

A systematic overview

But without a systematic recording, the management of partial networks in numerous buildings is almost impossible to master. The need for a professional network management became more and more urgent, so that the OFD in Hanover, representing the public building administration, issued a Europe-wide invitation to tender for the delivery of a sewer database. In 1991, the development of software for sewer databases was still in its infancy: a handful of programmers were dedicated to the development of software for civil engineering and geoinformatics. But it remains to be seen who will be able to meet the growing demands of the market and prevail in the long run. Investing in a uniform sewer information system throughout Germany is risky, as several hundred workstations must be installed and at least as many users must be trained. The future supplier must be innovative and have an appropriate software infrastructure in order to be able to implement the high requirements of the customer. Also, the new channel database must master the import and export of the young ISYBAU format.

And the winner is: BARTHAUER

In 1991, the OFD in Hanover, representing all state construction departments, decided to acquire a general license for the KanDATA sewer information system from the Brunswick software company of Dipl.-Ing. Jürgen Barthauer. The good price/performance ratio of the Braunschweig supplier, as well as his willingness to develop further adaptations, were decisive for the award of the contract. In 1991, the BARTHAUER pipeline information system was introduced throughout Germany on the MS-DOS operating system. At the same time, but independently of the order, the software company in Braunschweig is transformed into Barthauer Software GmbH. Several employees with different specialties, such as computer scientists, engineers and geographers, work together to continuously develop the software and adapt it to the requirements of the building authorities.

BARTHAUER employees train users and trainers throughout Germany. The interdisciplinary team is implementing a large project with around 250 workstations. BARTHAUER trainers are constantly on the road these days: user training courses in 16 German states with around 300 participants are on the agenda, as well as IT consulting and integration with existing software structures.

As a software company, Barthauer Software GmbH is indirectly involved in the development and implementation of the format. All line operators and planners now have access to software that fully masters the new uniform format language. The ISYTEST module ensures an independent quality control. ISYTEST checks that ISYBAU data are in an error-free ISYBAU format. Thus, both the principal and the contractor can be sure: If ISYBAU is written, ISYBAU is in!