Serial-wellfir - Serchio River alimented well-fields integrated rehabilitation

LIFE04 ENV/IT/000503

Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version  

Contact details:

Project Manager: Mauro DI BUGNO
Tel: 39 0583 442339
Email: m.dibugno@comune.lucca.it

Project description:


The EU's Ground Water Directive (GWD) requires the adoption of specific measures for prevention and control of groundwater pollution.

It covers a wide range of areas: coordinated administration of river basins; environmental objectives; requirements for analysing the characteristics of river basin districts, with an assessment of the impact of human activities and an examination of the economics of water use; establishment of a register of protected areas; identification of potable water abstraction areas and safeguard zones; and monitoring requirements.


The SERIAL-WELLFIR (SErchio RIver Alimented WELLFields Integrated Rehabilitation) project aimed to validate a methodology that will lead to land and aquifer rehabilitation and a 40% reduction of water pollution, in the context of the GWD. An integrated management planning approach would be used as part of a strategy to increase farming sustainability and implement river park activities.

As a starting point for in-depth analysis of non-point source human-induced pollution, an assessment of shallow and deep aquifer processes would be carried out. This would also enable identification of weak areas and unsustainable farming techniques. Practical application of solutions would be promoted using a participatory approach among stakeholders.


The project made a substantial contribution to addressing the serious issue of terbuthylazine (a herbicide used in corn cultivation)in the groundwater of Lucca’s well fields, which has threatened to deprive nearly 20% of the Tuscan population (some 700 000 inhabitants) of drinkable water resources.

Pollution of the public water wells and river’s water – which had raised a severe alarm in 2003 – has virtually disappeared since 2006. Although this seems to be mostly a result of natural causes, monitoring and awareness-raising actions undertaken during the project also encouraged better practices among local stakeholders (not only agricultural) and contributed to a significant decrease in the use of atrazine/terbuthylazine compounds in agricultural and industrial practices.

To this aim, the project developed an integrated methodology, combining bottom-up participative approach, GIS tools, mathematic modelling and formulation of environmental policies for safeguarding groundwater resources. It was made clear, that the solution to groundwater pollution is not only technological, but involves a range of aspects (economic, social, and environmental).

The focus of After LIFE communication actions to be carried out will be on fostering cultural, scientific, and environmental education activities as well as creating leisure facilities linked to the river park environment. Future projects will also include the development of an arboretum to maintain the region’s rich biodiversity and complex ecosystems and the construction of an urban farm as well as the rehabilitation of the “Alla Guardia” building to host the Museum of Serchio River.

The long–term sustainability of the project results depends upon the adoption and application of the plans and measures developed by the project participated committee. During the project, legislation was drawn up by the Regional Council that includes a package of measures for protecting the largest public well fields among those considered by the project. The project laid the foundations for long-term environmental improvement through large-scale supporting measures and planning.

The project results were disseminated among the scientific community through articles in specialised magazines (Journal of Water Resources Planning & Management; Journal of Contaminant Hydrology; Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment).


Environmental issues addressed:


Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry
Water - Water resources protection
Risk management - Site rehabilitation - Decontamination


river‚  site rehabilitation‚  agricultural pollution‚  groundwater‚  water pollution

Target EU Legislation

  • Water
  • Directive 80/778 - Quality of water intended for human consumption (15.07.1980)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Comune di Lucca
Type of organisation Local authority
Description The municipality of Lucca is a medium-size town located in Tuscany, rich in heritage.
Partners Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio–Direzione Generale per la qualità della vita (MATT), Italy Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione Ambientale della Toscana (ARPAT)– Department of Lucca, Italy Scuola Superiore Di Studi Universitari E Di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna, Italy Gestione Esercizio Acquedotti Lucchesi (GEAL) S.p.A., Italy Lucca Agricola SRL, Italy


Project reference LIFE04 ENV/IT/000503
Duration 01-SEP-2004 to 31-AUG -2007
Total budget 2,419,427.00 €
EU contribution 1,125,254.00 €
Project location Toscana(Italia)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website (IT)
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan (IT)
Publication: Layman report Layman report (EN)
Publication: Layman report Layman report (IT)
Publication: Technical report "Progetto LIFE Serial Wellfir: i resultati di un t ...
Video feature "Riabilitazione integrata dei campi pozzi alimenta ...


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version