are now detected in almost all flowing waters. These are synthetic organic substances that occur in the water body in very low concentrations (ng/L to a few µg/L). They include pharmaceuticals, X-ray contrast media, household chemicals, cosmetic products, biocides and pesticides as well as industrial chemicals.
The micropollutant loads in flowing waters
are a challenge for current wastewater treatment plants. One of our goals is therefore to investigate the effects of micropollutants on the aquatic biocoenosis by means of monitoring.
The biotic communities of flowing waters predominantly indicate poor ecological status. The influence of micropollutants is discussed as an important cause in this context, along with structural deficits.
One possible approach to reducing the micropollutant load in running waters caused by sewage treatment plants is to establish an additional purification stage at sewage treatment plants by means of ozonation or activated carbon filtration (so-called fourth purification stage).
Our research approaches lie in
- the application of a monitoring accompanying the measures to evaluate the effects on the aquatic biocoenosis. We investigate the effects on primary producers (macrophytes, phytobenthos) as well as on the macrozoobenthos.
- the targeted investigation of specific effects in specific single-species test procedures. In cooperation with our partners, we use a comprehensive biotest range with organisms of different trophic levels and with acute, chronic or mechanism-specific endpoints.