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