AQUATIK - Development and validation of advanced monitoring system for control of organic priority pollutants in treated wastewater effluents

LIFE10 ENV/ES/000521

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Susana GONZÁLEZ BLANCO
Tel: +34933124800
Fax: +34933414751
Email: sgonzalez@cetaqua.com

Project description:


Currently, the monitoring of priority pollutants in water systems generally involves ad-hoc analysis of water samples collected within specific monitoring campaigns.

However, the implementation of the EU’s Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires Member States to gain a better understanding of priority pollutants entering surface waters. The WFD requires the establishment of monitoring strategies that combine surveillance with operational and investigative monitoring. A list of 33 priority pollutants has been published and their presence must be monitored and limited in water bodies on an ongoing basis.

The current technologies available to determine the presence of these pollutants in water bodies are time-consuming and expensive to operate. They can also miss the detection of accidental spills. On-line technologies could provide a valuable alternative for measuring the presence of contaminants.


The main objective of the AQUATIK project is to test new methods and techniques for the monitoring of selected priority pollutants in water. The project seeks to develop a new automated prototype to measure pollutants discharged in wastewater effluents and related spills in quasi-real time.

From the WFD list of priority pollutants, the project will focus on seven, including pesticides, alkylphenols and phthalates. These have been selected due to their widespread presence in waters, especially in the study area.

The project will design and construct an automated self-controlled device for the detection of the selected priority substances. It will then demonstrate the prototype at selected trial sites at the Besòs and El Prat wastewater treatment plants (Barcelona, Spain).

The project team will test the feasibility of using passive samplers and on-site preconcentration to determine average concentration of alkylphenols, nonylphenol and octylphenol, the phthalate DEHP, and the pesticide atrazine. The operation and performance (including economic) of the device will be evaluated and compared with traditional methods.

It is expected that the prototype will reduce the time required to evaluate the presence and concentrations of the pesticides simazine, diuron and isoproturon. It should thus prove itself to be suitable for application on a wide scale, as a routine monitoring tool covering the sampling, filtering, detection and measurement steps.

Expected results:

    • Demonstration of the validity and feasibility of instrumentation to rapidly measure concentrations of priority pollutants in water;
    • Improved decision-making around pollution control, including an alert system for contamination from quasi-real time monitoring;
    • Guidelines and methodologies for the selection, implementation, operation and optimization of the methodology.



Environmental issues addressed:


Risk management - Pollution control


waste water treatment‚  pollution control‚  residual waste

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Cetaqua, Centro Tecnológico del Agua, Fundación Privada
Type of organisation Research institution
Description CETAQUA is a non-profit research, technological development and innovation centre with a specific focus on water, particularly the complete urban water cycle.
Partners Aquatec, Spain Labaqua, Spain


Project reference LIFE10 ENV/ES/000521
Duration 01-SEP-2011 to 31-DEC -2014
Total budget 1,564,259.00 €
EU contribution 775,879.00 €
Project location Cataluña(España)


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