Environmental consultancy Aqua Enviro has boosted its European credentials by taking part in a €1m ECOPHARMA project to help improve the quality of surface waters across Europe and meet new EU legislation standards.
UK-based Aqua Enviro, who specialise in the treatment of water, wastewater and organic waste, will be taking part in the project – funded by the European Commission – to help detect chemical pollutants that potentially pose a significant risk to human and marine health.
The new EU legislation has driven an improvement in analytical techniques to monitor and detect ‘emerging contaminants’ or chemical pollutants; however the current analysis is expensive, does not produce immediate results and has a slow turnaround time.
Aqua Enviro, as part of a European wide joint venture, will now trial and verify an online probe system called ‘Continuous Flow Integrative Sampler’ (CFIS) for detecting contaminants in water, such as pharmaceutical products and herbicides.
Pharmaceutical products, such as oral contraceptives, can pose a risk to marine wildlife and disrupt development in fish. Scientific studies have shown that other substances can be harmful, potentially proving toxic to humans and aquatic wildlife.
The new online system, developed by Spanish company Labaqua, could enable flow-balancing and treatment responses to be tailored to incoming contaminants.
This will avoid excessive capital and operational costs through overtreatment.
Paul Lavender, former Business Development Manager at Aqua Enviro, said: “On-line monitoring of these substances at the required limits of detection would have huge benefits to the industry, enabling lower cost and carbon solutions.
“We hope that through our project partners we will be able to demonstrate a reliable and robust solution.”
The two year ECOPHARMA project is due to start in January 2015 and will coincide with the second phase of the Chemical Investigation PROGRAMME (CIP2).
The CIP2 programme is an extensive UK wide sampling programme aiming to confirm and characterise where the Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) limits are being exceeded to inform water company investment on process upgrades.
A project website will be launched this year.
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