We are measuring toxic effects at 15 drinking water facilities to investigate chemical hazards in their raw and drinking waters, in one of the world’s largest studies using effect-based methods to assess known, as well as unknown, toxic mixture effects. An incredible step towards ultilization of novel methods in drinking water monitoring!
The project is financed by the participating municipalities and with funds from Svenskt Vatten Utveckling (SVU) and DRICKS.
Thousands of chemicals are produced annually, and new ones are developed every day. Many of these can end up in our waters, often in complex mixtures. Despite this, only a few substances are regulated. With effect-based methods, we focus on the entire mixture of pollutants in water which increases the possibilities of detecting chemical hazards in time!
Elin Lavonen from BioCell Analytica is project manager together with Karsten Pedersen at Micans (who runs a work package on microbiological risks) and Kenneth M Persson, professor at Lund University and research leader at Sydvatten and Sweden Water Research.
We asked Kenneth M Persson what he hopes the project will contribute with and he answered:
“It will be incredibly interesting to map toxic effects in Swedish raw and drinking waters – what kind of variations do we have geographically and seasonally? My hope is that we will be able to establish a routine for regular screening with effect-based methods as a complement to the chemical analysis we do today. This will broaden the understanding of what water quality looks like as we can identify effects from all types of organic pollutants that may be present in the water, and particularly cocktail effects. Legislation focuses almost exclusively on anthropogenic pollutants, but it is important to remember that natural toxic substances are often the most potent! With effect-based analysis, we also capture these substances.”
Are you curious to know more about the project? You can find a link to the project description (in Swedish) at SVU’s webpage and you are also welcome to contact Elin Lavonen who will be happy to tell you more!