Public Health Command (PHC) Europe inspects, finds healthy, clean water at Ansbach water distribution plant

By Gerlinde HoyleApril 12, 2024

Public Health Command (PHC) Europe inspects, finds healthy, clean water at Ansbach water distribution plant
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – ANSBACH, Germany (February 27, 2024) View down one of the wells at City of Ansbach water distribution plant during an inspection of Public Health Command Europe. (U.S. Army photo by Gerlinde Hoyle/Released) (Photo Credit: Gerlinde Hoyle) VIEW ORIGINAL
Public Health Command (PHC) Europe inspects, finds healthy, clean water at Ansbach water distribution plant
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – ANSBACH, Germany (February 27, 2024) - An inspector from the Public Health Command Europe checks a well at the city Ansbach distribution plant. (U.S. Army photo by Gerlinde Hoyle/Released) (Photo Credit: Gerlinde Hoyle) VIEW ORIGINAL

ANSBACH, Germany (April 12, 2024) - A team of inspectors from Public Health Command (PHC) Europe and members of United States Army Garrison (USAG) Ansbach Directorate of Public Works (DPW) recently toured Ansbach's water extraction and distribution plant in a rare opportunity to see firsthand where and how the local water supply works.

The Ansbach plant supplies water to the city of Ansbach, USAG Ansbach and most of Ansbach county. The tour was part of the sanitary survey that is required every three years and is conducted to ensure that all Department of Defense and host nation water regulations are followed, ensuring safe and clean water for Soldiers and their families.

“Clean and healthy water is essential for our Soldiers and their families. At USAG Ansbach we are very lucky to have good water. Water quality for USAG Ansbach has to meet German standards as well as Final Governing Standards and U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. German regulations are in many parts more stringent than U.S standards.” Jennifer Collins, Chief Environmental Division confirms.

Stadtwerke Ansbach's waterworks in Schlauersbach is state of the art. Due to the high quality of the spring and well water, natural methods are sufficient for treating the raw water. Extensive chemical purification, as with river or lake water, is not necessary - and you can taste it! Iron and manganese, which are components of the soil, are eliminated with the help of filter gravel, among other things. Although these substances are not harmful to health, they would give the water a metallic taste, and the acidic character of the groundwater is also completely natural.

"The water extraction plant is continuously inspected by the Ansbach State Health Authority in accordance with the Drinking Water Ordinance " says Stadtwerke spokesman Robert Hlava.

Stadtwerke Ansbach also announced recently in year 2022 that the samples did not reveal any evidence of contamination with perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS/PFC), as insinuated by several citizens of Ansbach.

Furthermore, experts from the "HG Büro für Hydrogeologie und Umwelt GmbH", partner of the Stadtwerke Ansbach in all hydrogeological and water law issues and tasks for decades, do not see any potential danger in the future either.

“Not only are the distances to the groundwater catchment areas of the wells in Schlauersbach and Gersbach too great, but the direction of groundwater flow and the geology mean that there is no risk of the wells in Katterbach being affected by PFC/PFAS contamination.”

According to Public Health Command Europe, the local water regulations are in many parts more stringent than stateside rules. Nevertheless, USAG Ansbach operates its own set of water treatment and distribution stations where all water entering the military installation undergoes additional chlorination and fluorination.

On top of it, water is also tested regularly through PHC’s Water Quality Compliance Monitoring program, defined as “regular monitoring and sampling of the drinking water supply to ensure that water quality meets or exceeds regulatory standards.” On the list of up to 20 substances, included in regular sampling are e.g. legionella bacteria, lead, copper, E. coli bacteria, metals and more.

The Water System Emergency Response Plan, another pillar of PHC’s water management is: “A comprehensive, installation-specific plan to return the drinking water distribution system back to normal service with acceptable water quality after a disruption of water service.”

Striving to provide uninterrupted water service, USAG Ansbach maintains a number of water holding tanks.

Frank Otterbein, Utility Branch Manager at DPW says: “We have several massive holding tanks that are always filled. We also have two additional holding tanks that we could fill in anticipation of water supply interruptions.”

In case of a water supply interruption, a water savings plan will be implemented. Otterbein says: “The water currently stored in the holding tanks is sufficient for the entire garrison for about three to five days, and even longer, if we would implement water shortage measures.”

Fresh water is the most finite of earth's resources. We can all contribute to conserve water by changing water use habits. See below daily water conservation tips and click on links below, if you would like to read more about the topic.

Ways to conserve water:

- Take shorter showers - five to 10 gallons of water per minute are used

- Shut off water while brushing teeth - wet brush, fill a glass for rinsing

- Turn off water while shaving - fill bottom of sink with a few inches, in order to rinse the razor

- Check toilets for leaks - add food coloring to tank, if the color begins to appear in the bowl without flushing, there is a leak

- Check faucets for leaks - one drip per second wastes more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is the amount needed for approximately 180 showers

For more tips on how to conserve water, check out the EPA's website at


The U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach military community is located in the Franconian region of Bavaria and is spread across six sites and nine kasernes dispersed around the city of Ansbach and the village of Illesheim. Today, Ansbach is home to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, the community's largest tenant unit, as well as the 7th Engineer Brigade, 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and 1st Battalion, 57th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. The garrison takes pride in supporting more than 12,000 Soldiers, civilians, family members, and retirees working and living in the Ansbach area.

For more news from U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach, visit: or