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Impacts of contaminants in EU inland, coastal and drinking waters

Objective

Specific Objectives:
Task 1: Development, testing and harmonisation of methodologies to monitor and assess priority chemical substances listed in the WFD as well as other hazardous and emerging chemicals. Objectives: - To support the Working Group on Analysis and Monitoring of priority chemical pollutants (AMPS). - To establish close collaboration with Member States and Candidate Countries on monitoring and analysis of priority chemical pollutants. - To further develop a support laboratory for AMPS. - To develop, test and apply analytical methods, sampling procedures and monitoring strategies for priority substances in water and related matrices. - To apply methodologies to assess diffuse contaminant input into surface waters.

Task 2: Development, implementation and testing of a general modelling framework for contaminants. Objectives: - To assess the fate and pathways of priority and candidate substances on inland and coastal waters, - To assess the impacts of hazardous substances on aquatic ecosystems by coupling bioaccumulation processes in aquatic food-webs and eutrophication models. Task 3: Application of integrated river basin-coastal zone models. Support to WFD implementation, WG 4.1 Pilot River Basins Objectives: - To develop an information system for the decision-making process in the management of coastal areas under the influence of river basin runoff. - To act as a Technical Secretariat of the WG 4.1 (in collaboration with IES S&W Unit) - To develop scenario analysis studies of coastal lagoons and to assess the impacts of several management strategies. Task 4: Provision, development and harmonisation of methodologies for the rapid detection of pathogens and microbiological hazards and for biomarkers of chemical and ecotoxicological stress Objectives: - To establish a laboratory for pathogens identification and assessment in drinking and surface waters, and a laboratory for ecotoxicological assessment of surface waters. - To provide, develop and harmonise methodologies for the rapid detection of pathogens and microbiological hazards - To provide scientific support to DG ENV by participating in and leading the European Microbiological Advisory Group (EMAG); establish microbiology network. - To develop and implement molecular-based methodologies and indicators of chemical and ecotoxicological stress in surface waters and to assess their sensitivity and reliability; network with MS and CC. Task 5: Drinking water quality studies Objectives: - To develop sampling protocols, test methods and monitoring strategies to assess the drinking water quality (organic and inorganic chemical; microbiological) at the tap with special focus on the life-time impact of construction materials. - To support DG ENV and DG ENTR scientifically and technically by participating in the Standing Committee on Drinking Water (Art. 12 DWD), the working group to review the DWD Annex I and the regulators Group on construction Products in Drinking Water (RG-CPDW). - To develop an information system concerning Positive Lists and Composition Lists of allowed substances in Construction Products in Drinking Water (CPDW) and production and formulation criteria of CPDW. - To develop methodologies for the aquatic speciation of inorganic aquatic species of concern. - To organise and conduct inter-laboratory comparison studies among MS and CC, including training on the sampling and analysis of drinking waters. - To assess different denitrification methods for drinking water production in waters of excessive nitrate and the application of membrane bioreactors for water re-use applications.

Anticipated milestones and schedule:
Task 1: - Completion of the organic chemical analysis laboratory (June 2003). - Successful conduct of the two AMPS network meetings, and enhance CC participation. - Report on analytical and monitoring methods. - Scientific publication on multi-contaminant assessment of surface waters;
Task 2: - Preliminary assessment on datasets and modelling needs (Dec. 2003). - First results on a selected case (Dec. 2003);
Task 3: - Report on the preliminary results of the integrated testing of WFD Guidance Documents (March 2003). - International Conference on Southern European Coastal Lagoons (JRC collaboration with LOICZ, ELOISE and National Research Programmes (Nov. 2003)). - Scientific publications on: coupling watershed and coastal lagoons models; the effects of management strategies on coastal lagoons; and the application of exergy as a good ecological quality indicator;
Task 4: - Laboratory for pathogens identification and assessment in drinking and surface waters, and a laboratory for ecotoxicological assessment of surface waters. - Methodologies for the rapid detection of pathogens and microbiological hazards - Microbiology network. - Molecular-based methodologies and indicators of chemical and ecotoxicological stress in surface; network with MS and CC;
Task 5: Drinking water quality studies - Commissioning test apparatus for chemicals in DW derived from construction materials. - Development of the tap water sampling protocol (Dec 2003). - Establishment of the DW laboratory. - Continued support DG ENV, ENTR (June 2003) on DW.
Planned Deliverables Task 1: - Specific reports on AMPS activities as specified in upcoming meetings - Report(s) on methods for analysis and modelling used for research on diffuse input. - Organisation of AMPS network meetings and technical support to the group: AMPS 3rd meeting (March 2003), AMPS 4th meeting (October 2003)
Task 2: - Report on the analysis for the selection of the general modelling framework for contaminants (June 2003). - Report on the selected test sites and their related case studies (chemical compounds) (Sep. 2003). - Report summarising FP6 activities in NoE (network) on Marine Environmental Trace Chemical Contaminant Cycle (METCCC) (Nov. 2003) and EUropean Network for Investigations on Chemical contaminants in the Marine Environment (EUNICE)
Task 3: - Report on the integrated study (watershed and coastal lagoon) of Thau lagoon and the anthropogenic impacts of agricultural practices (June 2003) - Report on the DB, GIS and Web based structure to environmental datasets for the integrated river-basin -coastal zone studies (Nov. 2003) - Secretariat of the WG 4.1 (in collaboration with IES S&W Unit) on Integrated Pilot River Basin (PRB) testing of Guidance Documents (GD). Report after the March 2003 Workshop on the results of Preliminary testing on PRBs of the GD. - Report summarising FP6 activities NoE (network) proposal: Assessing Human Effects on Aquatic Ecosystems (Nov. 2003)
Task 4: - State of the art report on molecular based methodologies for the assessment of ecotoxicological status (Dec. 2003) of surface waters. - State of the art report on molecular based methodologies for the assessment of microbiological status (Dec. 2003) of surface and drinking waters. - State of the art report of pathogen identification and microbial hazards in European drinking and surface waters (June 2003)
Task 5: - An information system concerning Positive Lists and Composition Lists of allowed substances in CPDW and production and formulation criteria of CPDW (Dec 2003). - Report on the state of the art on denitrification methods and the assessment of membrane bioreactors for water re-use applications (June 2003) - State of the art report on hazardous materials in DW from construction materials. - Reports of attended meetings of RG-CPDW, SCDW and WG to review DWD Annex 1 and working documents to DG ENV and DG ENTR.
Summary of the Action:

Three of the major concerns for European waters are anthropogenic nutrient enrichment, chemical and biological contamination, and sufficient, safe and good chemical and microbiological quality drinking water for EU citizens. The overall goal of this action is to provide methodologies, assessment tools and assessments of the exposure of EU waters to contaminants through experimental measurements and models. This will contribute to the understanding and quantification of the fate and effects of contaminants (chemical, biological) in inland, coastal and drinking waters of the MS and CC, and to assess how nutrient enrichment interacts with chemical and biological stressors. Methodologies for the assessment of the microbiological quality of drinking water and ecotoxicological quality of surface water will be developed and implemented. Rationale Release of chemical substances significantly impacts European waters. Impacts are both direct and indirect, through degradation products, acute and/or chronic toxic toxicity, and/or long-term effects via bioaccumation in aquatic food chains.

Pollutants may accumulate in aquatic food chains and/or pollute our drinking water. As the number of substances is large and measures to reduce emission are costly and time demanding, there is a necessary prioritisation of the efforts through risk assessment studies requiring exposure data, which is both scarce and difficult to obtain. Furthermore, pathways of contaminants from the emission source to the receiving waters are not always clear, in particular for contaminants emitted from diffuse sources. Products used in water supply systems may release substances into drinking water and source water disinfection gives rise to problematic by-products. Furthermore, the health effects of microbial contamination in bathing and drinking water may be more pronounced and severe than previously thought, magnified by episodic events such as floods. Microbial growth in water supply systems depends on the materials used, the design of the system, and leakage. The development of harmonised methodologies to detect microorganisms and pathogens, as well as the ecotoxicological quality of surface waters are urgently needed, especially in collaboration with Candidate Countries.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research

Coordinator

Institute for Environment and Sustainability
Address
Via E. Fermi 1
21020 Ispra
Italy