Integrated assessment of micro-pollutants and measures aimed at reducing inputs of urban and industrial wastewater

The 14th conference of Rhine Ministers on 18 October 2007 required the ICPR among others to develop a joint and comprehensive strategy for reducing and avoiding micropollutant inputs from urban wastewater and other (diffuse) sources into the Rhine and its tributaries by improving knowledge on emissions, eco-toxicological reactions in nature and to draft suitable treatment methods.

The strategy aims at presenting problems and lacks of knowledge, and to present recommendations to improve the situation. Its target is that "Substances in Rhine water may neither individually, nor in mutual interaction have detrimental impacts on the biocoenosis of flora, fauna and micro-organisms and water quality must be such that drinking water production is possible with simple, natural treatment methods.

This means to avoid pollutions by reducing discharges, emissions and losses of micro-pollutants with detrimental effects in order to achieve concentrations near the background values for naturally occurring substances and to achieve concentrations near zero for synthetic substances."