Evaluation of the efficiency of extended ww treatment for ecosystems

#wastewater #effects #aquatic ecosystems #biotests #biomarker
Range of methods used to demonstrate the success of the fourth treatment stage in a wastewater treatment plant for the ecosystem in the connected receiving water. Laboratory tests were used to investigate effect potentials with different effect endpoints in environmental samples (wastewater, surface water, sediment). At the same time, actual pollutant effects, some of which indicate similar mechanisms of action of groups of trace substances, were demonstrated in organisms exposed in the ecosystem (fish, invertebrates). The range of methods includes toxic (e.g. genotoxic, phytotoxic or developmental) and endocrine (e.g. estrogenic) endpoints.
Effects-based method suite established as part of the SchussenAktivplus project to assess the success of a fourth treatment stage in a wastewater treatment plant based on powdered activated carbon for the receiving water ecosystem. Photo credit: Rita Triebskorn

In order to reduce the inputs of trace substances via wastewater treatment plants, many plants are currently being equipped with an additional treatment stage. The range of methods presented serves to demonstrate the efficiency of these measures for the health status of aquatic ecosystems within a short time.

Wastewater treatment plants have been identified as significant point sources for the input of numerous trace substances into aquatic ecosystems. In order to reduce these substance inputs, many plants are currently being equipped with a 4th treatment stage. The presented method repertoire can be used to demonstrate the success of WWTP upgrading for aquatic ecosystems within a few months. The method repertoire is to be understood as a toolbox with which possible and real manifested negative effects in ecosystems in response to the input of wastewater containing trace substances can be presented both in environmental samples and in exposed organisms, such as fish, amphipods or snails, as well as in entire biocoenoses. The reduction of the previously detected effects after the establishment of a 4th treatment stage on a wastewater treatment plant serves here as a measure for the efficiency of the realized measure. Due to the diversity of the range of methods, individual effects can be assigned to possible groups of substances, e.g. genotoxic, phytotoxic or hormonal effects, and, if necessary, causally explained by the presence of substances that can be detected by chemical analysis (e.g. certain PAHs, pesticides or endocrine disruptors). In addition, already manifested or foreseeable ecologically relevant effects in the ecosystem itself can either be detected or at least predicted, since in many cases there are demonstrably plausible links between effects at lower biological levels (molecules, cells) and effects at higher levels (populations, ecosystems).

Water resource: Surface water, Wastewater
Type of product:
  • Monitoring & analytics
Application sector: Cities and municipalities, Natural water environment, Water resource management
Funding measure: RiSKWa
Project: SchussenAktivplus

Contact and partners

Logo Universität Tübingen, Institut für Evolution und Ökologie
  • Universität Tübingen, Institut für Evolution und Ökologie,
  • Auf der Morgenstelle 5,
  • 72076 Tübingen
https://uni-tuebingen.de/de/442 _blank
Prof. Dr. Rita Triebskorn

TZW - DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser,
KIT- Karlsruher Institut für Technologie,
Regierungspräsidium Tübingen
AV Unteres Schussental
AZV Mariatal
Stadt Merklingen
Stadt Tettnang
Stadt Eriskirch
Stadt Ravensburg
Peter Rey HYDRA Institut für angewandte Hydrobiologie
Dr. Karl Wurm, GÖL Starzach
Biologiebüro Weyhmüller
Ökonsult GbR
Dr.-Ing. Jedele & Partner GmbH
Institut für Seenforschung der LUBW
Universität Avignon
Technische Universität Brünn
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Universität Tübingen, Institut für Evolution und Ökologie,
Universität Stuttgart

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