Combating emerging pollutants in the Mediterranean

At Cap Sicié, the Amphitria wastewater treatment plant has become a pilot site to better understand and treat new forms of water contamination, such as micro-pollutants in effluents.

Environment & biodiversity

Toulon (France)

Olivier Cavallo
Emmanuel Plessis

€150,000 during the Board Meeting on 13/02/2017

Project leader

Toulon University

With several partners, Toulon University is working to achieve the European objective (European Directive 2000/60/EC of 23 October 2000) of recovering the good ecological status of water bodies. As such, it has initiated a process to combat the presence of micro-pollutants in effluents. The difficulty in assessing and reducing the risks related to emerging pollutants (drug residues, endocrine disruptors, etc.) lies in their diversity, the complexity of their modes of action, and the ability of certain pollutants to impact human health at very low levels of concentration (endocrine disruptors).
A pilot initiative was initiated to better understand these new forms of water contamination, characterize them, and assess the effectiveness of tertiary treatment on their elimination at the Communauté d’Agglomération Toulouse Provence Méditerranée's wastewater plant, Amphitria. Toulon University has brought together several partners around the Rhône Méditerranée Corse's water board to implement its project.
The first step is to measure the actual rates of physico-biological processes used at Amphitria and then to measure the possible benefits of innovative tertiary "PreOzo + ActifloCarb" treatment on a pilot. A series of tests on living organisms is planned and chemical and biological parameters (toxicity threshold) will be measured, including on planktonic activity. The WatchFrog method of direct measurement of endocrine disruption will also be used. The experiment will last six months.
Beyond this, the project is likely to integrate a consortium of stakeholders coordinated by the Tara Oceans Foundation to seek additional funding under the European call for projects H2020 (BG-07-2017 H2020 - Blue Green Innovation for Clean costs & seas). The beginnings of an ambitious project.