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Fluorescent tracers to analyze the fate of biocides in urban rainwater infiltration systems

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The joint project MUTReWa (Maßnahmen für einen nachhaltigeren Umgang mit Pestiziden und deren Transformationsprodukten im Regionalen Wassermanagement) is investigating relevant processes of mobilization and transformation of pesticides used in intensive agriculture and biocides from urban areas. Within the project the efficiency and sustainability of water management measures to improve the ecological state of ground- and surface water have to be assessed. Recommendations derived shall be implemented in collaboration with water managers into regional water management strategies.

Within our subproject, which is processed by the departement of soil ecology and the departement of hydrology by the university of Freiburg, we focus on biocides in rainwater infiltration plants in urban areas. The term biocides comprises a large group of organic substances which are used for example in facade paints and roof protection materials to prevent fungi and algae growth and can be washed out by rainwater. In urban areas increasing efforts of precipitation water are managed on site and are infiltrated into the groundwater over rainwater infiltration plants. We want to answer the question if biocides are transported to groundwater or if they are instead retained or degraded in the soil and rainwalter infiltration plants therefore conduce as a buffer for these pollutants.

One simple possibility to estimate the translocation potential of biocides in rainwater infiltration systems could be multitracer experiments. In this case different (fluorescent) tracers are used as a proxy for the hydraulic properties of the system and sorption and degredation processes of different organic pollutants. This approach was successfully used in hydrological systems but for soils the experiences are scarce.

The translocation of biocides in rainwater infiltration systems and the applicability of the multitracer approach to estimate biocide translocation in soils are investigated by laboratory and field experiments as well as by modeling.

Part of joint project MUTReWa: Maßnahmen für einen nachhaltigeren Umgang mit Pestiziden und deren Transformationsprodukten im Regionalen Wassermanagement


01.04.2015 bis 31.03.2018