IWA Publishing

Neptune project deliverable D5.2


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Conclusion of the workshop about the revision of the WFD priority substances

The list of priority substances chosen for the evaluation of the chemical status of water bodies as described in the water framework directive (WFD) will be revised in certain intervals (e.g. 4 years). The criteria of the revision procedure are under discussion. In the past a variety of different selection criteria were applied, in order to find those pollutants which are most hazardous to aquatic organisms on the European level. Hereto pollutants occurrence data have to be available for rivers and streams in at least three European countries. Based on this criterion it is obvious that pollutants are ignored which have been only recently identified in research project and thus are not included in national monitoring programs. Furthermore, the available data about ecotoxicological hazards should clearly indicate that these pollutants possess a high potential to be harmful to the environment. In addition to ecotoxicological effects the human health risks have to be considered due to an accumulation in organisms foreseen for human diet as well as due to a contamination of groundwater and drinking water. However, to our knowledge the human toxicology was inadequately considered as well as the (bio)transformation of pollutants. A “non detection” in surface waters DOES NOT mean that the compound was mineralized. There are several examples that pollutants were only transformed into persistent transformation products (TPs) by minor changes in the molecular structure. Hence, it can be expected that the TPs posses comparable (eco)toxicological effects already known for the target compounds. It has to be noted that it is not the objective of the Neptune project to establish a list for new potential priority substances. Neptune is focused on the development and the assessment of technological solutions to diminish the overall toxicity of treated wastewater as well as to remove toxic emerging pollutants.

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