PILLS mid-term symposium in Luxembourg on 25-03-2010

    From March 24th to March 26th the PILLS partners met for the mid-term symposium and a Working Group meeting in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg. In the focus of the meeting was the mid-term symposium which was combined with the presentation of the pilot plant of the Luxembourgish partners. During the ceremony the Luxembourgish minister for inner affairs Mr Halsdorf, the director of the Administration de la gestion de l´Eau Mr André Weidenhaupt as well as the technical director of the cooperation hospital Henri Hinterscheid appreciated the engagement of the Luxembourgish partners.

    The pilot plant is located at the Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch in Esch-sur-Alzette and is designed as small-scale pilot plant which treats about 1% of the total effluent of the hospital. Different treatment techniques are tested before the water is discharged into the public sewer system. First of all the water is treated by a Membrane Bioreactor before the advanced treatment steps `Ozonation / Hydrogen peroxide´, `Reverse Osmosis´ as well as `Ultraviolet irradiation´ apply.

    During the symposium the different national strategies of Luxembourg, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Germany, France and Scotland regarding the handling of micropollutants were presented by the PILLS partners. In this context Mr Weidenhaupt gave a broad overview about the Luxembourgish water policy.

    In Switzerland a modification of Swiss ordinance on water protection is in consultation at the moment. This foresees the implementation of technical measures at the bigger central wastewater treatment plants. In the Netherlands it is also discussed whether the implementation of technical measures at the wastewater treatment plants is useful and whether an additional charge on all pharmaceuticals (e.g. `1 cent per pill´) could help to finance these measures.

    For the Lead Partner Emschergenossenschaft from Germany, the CEO Mr Stemplewski pointed out that there is the necessity of considering the whole life-cycle of pharmaceuticals instead of only concentrating at end-of-pipe solutions. A similar view was presented by Chantal Gatignol coming from the French Ministère de la Santé et des Sports. In Scotland legislation measures to face this problem are not foreseen at the moment as the focus is currently set on research activities.

    Press articles about the meeting

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