Innovation Program Removal of Micropollutants at WWTPs

This report gives an overview of the various projects that researchers are working on within the Innovation Program Micropollutants, a joint program of the Dutch Ministery of Infrastructure an Water Management and The Dutch Foundation for Applied Water Research STOWA.

This joint innovation program of the Regional Water Authorities, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and STOWA aims to further develop technologies and techniques for the removal of micropollutants, including medicine residues, from wastewater treatment plants (wwtps). These are technologies and techniques that are on the verge of breaking through, but are insufficiently proven to be directly applicable on a large scale in wwtps in the Netherlands. This will lead to a better understanding of operating mechanisms and dimensioning principles, thereby reducing the risks when putting technology into practice. The program thus accelerates the application of innovations in Dutch municipal wastewater treatment practice.

This innovation program fits in well with the contribution scheme ‘demos zuivering medicijnenresten’ (‘demonstration installations removal of medicine residues’) from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the developments of the regional water authorities with regard to the introduction of additional treatment steps for wwtps in demonstration installations using existing available techniques for the removal of medicine residues.


An important aspect of this program is knowledge sharing. Under the motto of ‘Learning by Implementation’, knowledge and experience from this program and those from the parallel program with the demonstration instal- lations are shared as it becomes available so that it can be applied as quickly as possible in the wastewater treat- ment practice of the regional water authorities.

In this innovation program, central government, regional water authorities, knowledge institutions, drinking water companies and businesses work together to remove medicine residues and a wide range of other micropollutants from wwtp wastewater and thereby further improve the water quality in the Netherlands.

This report provides an overview of the various research routes. Important points of attention in the research are the removal efficiency, the costs and sustainability aspects. The first results of the various feasibility studies are expected early 2020.