Priority and Emerging Pollutants

WWTPs are designed to eliminate organic materials and in certain cases nitrogen and phosphorus. However, emerging and priority pollutants in WWTPs, regulated by the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/CE (WFD) and later modifications and present in trace concentrations in the wastewater, are generally insufficiently removed and therefore accumulate in water bodies.  

Detecting and treating emerging and priority pollutants and their metabolites is still a serious challenge in improving underground and surface water quality.   


The CALAGUA group is developing and applying analytical techniques to identify, detect, characterize and quantify micropollutants in the water and sludge lines in existing WWTPs as well as during the new organic matter removal processes (membrane bioreactors) and the new nutrients removal processes (microalgae cultivation). We are also studying the presence of these micropollutants in the natural environment by analysing not only water samples but also sediment samples and the biota in contact with them. These methods can be used to monitor substances in the receiving medium to evaluate their impact on the aquatic media.     


The analytical methods developed so far can measure the concentration of the different substances studied, mainly by solid phase microextraction, gas chromatography or capillary liquid chromatography separation, mass spectrometry quantification, electron capture and diode array detection. 



Monitoring of priority activities on the coast of the Valencian Community.