FLUSSHYGIENE

Hygienically relevant microorganisms and pathogens in multi-functional rivers and water cycles – sustainable management of different types of rivers in Germany

FLUSSHYGIENE
FLUSSHYGIENE

RESEARCH FOR CLEAN BATHING WATER

Local recreation, drinking water production, transportation – rivers are used and made use of in many different ways. This means that high standards of hygiene and good quality water are prerequisites for public health. The revised EU Bathing Water Directive of 2006 (2006/7/EG) calls for the systematic collection of data on the sources of hygienic pollution and for the realisation of appropriate management measures. The directive thus executes the precautionary principle in the quality management of water bodies. In rivers, implementing the Bathing Water Directive poses a particular challenge: Methods for reliably predicting microbial pollution are still missing. However, without them local authorities cannot react in a timely and appropriate manner to transient pollution such as combined sewer overflows and rainwater discharges. This is why the partners of the joint project FLUSSHYGIENE want to further develop and test methods which deliver more information on faecal pollution.

GOALS

Ein blauer See auf dem zwei Schwäne schwimmen. Am Ufer sind zwei große Boote festgemacht. Das Ufer ist durch eine Mauer leicht erhöht und besteht aus grünem, kurzgeschnittenem Gras. Darauf liegen und sitzen Menschen in verschiedenfarbiger Badekleidung.

© Wolfgang Seis, Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH

The goal of the joint project FLUSSHYGIENE is to develop tools which enable complex, multi-functional rivers to be managed in such a way that the highest possible level of health protection can be ensured, without compromising their economic function. The partners of the joint project aim to achieve this by developing the necessary knowledge-, data- and decision-making essentials. They will also evolve guidelines and models for developing risk-based prediction tools and sustainable management strategies with regard to hygienic pollution in rivers. With the help of the experience gained, the partners of the joint project will then compile a guideline and a checklist for local authorities and water managers.

MODEL REGIONS

The project will study seven rivers which are divided into four model regions and which are very different with regard to river type and -structure, water quality, and types of use:

  • The Spree-Havel river system in the city of Berlin
  • The Isar and Ilz rivers in the state of Bavaria
  • The Rhine and Mosel rivers near the city of Koblenz in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate
  • The Ruhr river in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia

 Selected Interim Results

  • The project’s initial phase served to record the entry paths of hygienic loads, identify and quantify the degradation processes in rivers and determine potential obstacles arising from the usage claims of various stakeholders with regard to bathing in rivers.
  • In order to determine the loads caused by heavy rainfall events, event-based sampling was carried out in all the model regions. Samples were taken at rain overflow basins, rainwater sewers, sewage treatment plants, tributaries and combined sewer overflows.
  • In addition to the indicator organisms coli and intestinal enterococci, levels of viral and parasitic pathogens (adenoviruses, noroviruses, giardia spp., cryptosporidium parvum) were measured to determine the actual risk of infection. Furthermore, on the days after rain events, samples were taken with automatic samplers at specific sites at current and potential bathing waters in the Unterhavel in Berlin, at the suburban Spree River and at the river Ruhr.
  • Furthermore, on the days after rain events, samples were taken with automatic samplers at specific sites at current and potential bathing waters in the Unterhavel in Berlin, at the suburban Spree River and at the river Ruhr. In addition to documentation of the entry paths, analysis of the degradation processes played a significant role. In Berlin, flow-time conform sampling was implemented during two combined sewer overflow events in order to determine the degradation rate in the river. The load was monitored through a combination of online monitoring in the sewer system, a flow measurement at the discharge point, hydraulic modelling of the Spree River and the online monitoring of conductivity and oxygen in the river.

Further Information

Kontakt