Water Quality Management


Emissionmodelling of Organic and Inorganic Micropollutants on catchment Level

2015 - 2018

Matthias Zessner Emailmzessner(at)

Umweltbundesamt, Umweltinstitut Vorarlberg

Dateidownloadreport of prestudies 2015


Short description

Micropollutants play an important role for assessing the status of water bodies according to the criteria defined by the Water Framework Directive. The focus to reduce micropollutions is currently set on continuous point sources such as the outflow of municipal waste water treatment plants (ozone or activated carbon treatment). In addition to point sources, for many substances diffuse emission pathways are also of great relevance, but only limited knowledge is currently available. Therefore, the Austrian wide quantification of emissions into water bodies and the identification of their origin are not possible. However, for planning and implementing of strategic measures to reduce micropollutants, an integrated approach is required. An essential basis for this is the development and validation of appropriate material flow models, which allow the quantification of emission and immission of micropollutants into water bodies and which support the evaluation of the effectiveness of measures at catchment level. In recent years a number of research projects have been funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, which provide a good basis for further development of material flow models. These include: the monitoring of occurrence of micropollutants in wastewater treatment plants and in combined sewer system overflow and extensive research on modeling of nutrient emission loads at catchment scale. Building on these previous projects, STOBIMO Spurenstoffe specifically addresses the material flow model of micropollutants. Current national and international model developments (e.g. MONERIS, MoRE, GREAT-ER) and national data provide the basis for a first Austrian wide application. Core goal of the project will be the calibration and validation of the models through a strategic monitoring program which encompasses measurements of river water, suspended solids, soil and atmospheric deposition. Further, Austrian specific adjustments will be implemented. The material flow modeling will be limited to a selected number of anorganic (e.g. Ni, Pb, Cd, Hg) and organic (e.g. diclofenac, PAH16, PFT, hormones and diuron) micropollutants, that show different environmental behavior. However, the modeling will be designed in a way that firther extensions can be implemented as efficiently as possible to other substances.