Measures to reduce the input of micro-pollutants into water bodies

  • contact:

    Dipl.-Geoökol. Snezhina Toshovski

    PD Dr.-Ing. Stephan Fuchs

  • funding:

    Federal Environment Agency Germany

  • startdate:


  • enddate:


Short description

Since many years one of the important aims of water management is to reduce the contamination of water bodies caused by micro-pollutants. The EU Water Framework Directive (Article 16:  “Strategies against water pollution“) defines that specific measures should be implemented which fight against water pollution caused by specific substances or groups of substances with a high risk for the aquatic environment.

In this context the purpose of the project is to develop appropriate measures to reduce the input of micro-pollutants discharged by the municipal waste water treatment plants and sewer systems into water bodies. The appropriate measures will be characterized by efficiency as well as by an optimized cost-efficiency.

The individual working steps cover first the identification of relevant micro-pollutants which predominantly enter the water bodies via municipal waste water treatment plants. Afterwards, measures to reduce the input into water bodies will be derived followed by an evaluation of cost-efficiency. Different combinations of measures will be examined and those with a high effectiveness and cost-efficiency will be identified. Additionally, scenarios for calculating the costs resulting from  the realization of measures on a national level will be evaluated. The general conditions and the costs of the scenarios for the introduction of an extended wastewater treatment in municipal sewage plants in Germany are crucial and will be identified.

Emission patterns of selected micro-pollutants will be exemplarily quantified starting with the production of substances along the whole product life cycle until the entry into water bodies.
The project will be carried out in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI with the IWG as a subcontractor.