Micropollutants, nutrients and heavy metals in the water cycle

Concentration – Load – Effect

Numerous substances enter the water bodies via the input pathways from the catchment areas. Important substance groups in water management are:

  • Carbon compounds and oxygen depleting substances
  • Nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus)
  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides
  • Industrial chemicals
  • Pharmaceuticals
    (human and veterinary medicinal products)
  • Pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites)

Addressing the relevant substance flows in river basins is one of our main tasks in order to be able to develop efficient water management measures. In addition, the evaluation of concentrations and loads with regard to the effect on water is a key element of our activities.


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