ASKURIS: Anthropogenic Trace Organic Compounds and Pathogens in the Urban Water Cycle

The climate change predictions for the Berlin-Brandenburg region for the next decades are based on less summer rainfall which might lead to a decrease in the current water quantities of the rivers Spree and Havel. At the same time, largely owing to the demographic development, the consumption of medicinal products is assumed to rise. In the long term, both trends may cause increased concentrations of so-called trace organic compounds (i.e. amongst others also pharmaceutical residues) and of microorganisms in our surface waters and thus possibly impact the groundwater quality. Different scenarios are based on the assumption that the concentration of trace organic compounds in the regional surface waters will possibly reduplicate.

The joint research project ASKURIS which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), has the following goals:

  • Evaluation of risks related with trace organics and pathogens in an semi-closed urban water cycle

  • Identification and evaluation of technical and natural barriers towards the targeted compounds, including pilot trials for processes such as oxidation and adsorption

  • Development of a sound  risk communication strategy

In the scope of pilot tests, KWB will assess the efficiency of oxidation processes with or without tertiary treatment for the removal of trace organic compounds. In addition, eligible hybrid processes and their fields of application (sewage works vs treatment plant) will be evaluated.


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