LLI-527 Pharmaceuticals in wastewaters – levels, impacts and reduction (MEDWwater)

Short description

Project “Pharmaceuticals in wastewaters – levels, impacts and reduction” (MEDWwater)

The aim of the project is to improve the efficiency of pharmaceutical pollution management and strengthen cooperation between state institutions and wastewater treatment plant operators.

Target groups:

  • ministries responsible for environmental protection and planning;
  • Environmental quality control institutions;
  • planning regions;
  • educational and research institutions;
  • non-governmental organizations whose interests and scope of activity are related to the protection of natural resources;
  • operators of wastewater treatment plants;
  • Pharmacies, distributors and sellers of medicines and drugs;
  • society – users of medicines.

Project partners:

Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology (LIAE) – leading partner

Kurzeme Planning Region: www.kurzemesregions.lv

SLLC “Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre”: www.videscentrs.lvgmc.lv

Klaipeda University: www.ku.lt

State Agency of Medicines of the Republic of Latvia (Zāļu valsts aģentūra): www.zva.gov.lv

State Medicines Control Agency of Lithuania: www.vvkt.lt

Project activities:
Based on the previous experience, research, EU recommendations and the amount of pharmaceuticals sold, the scientific institutions involved in the project will identify 20 to 25 pharmaceutically active substances (biologically active components of a tablet or capsule, which must ensure the quality, efficiency and safety of the finished medicine), which are in the composition of medicines intended for humans.
In order to clarify the harmful effects of the identified 20-25 pharmaceutical active substances on living organisms and the environment, their environmental risk coefficients will be calculated. They will be collected in a database, which will allow to identify the ones with the highest environmental risks in the project area from all the determined pharmaceutical active substances.
Information will be gathered on the amount of pharmaceutically active substances that wastewater treatment plants are unable to treat and their impact on the environment.
In order to determine the concentrations of pharmaceutical active substances, in the course of the project surface water samples will be collected in rivers before and after the discharge points of the wastewater treatment facilities, as well as samples of treated and untreated wastewater during the spring and autumn seasons.
In order to gain experience and acquire the necessary knowledge for the efficient operation of wastewater treatment plants an exchange trip to Sweden – Kristianstad and Dageberg wastewater treatment plants – is planned.
At the third meeting of the project, foreign experts will present their experience and knowledge on the use of activated carbon, ozone and bioreactors for effective purification of wastewater from pharmaceutically active substances.
An expert will provide recommendations to two wastewater treatment plant operators, including detailed technical solutions for better purification of pharmaceutically active substances. After summarizing the results of the project, the expert will prepare recommendations for wastewater monitoring.
In order to reduce the amount of pharmaceutically active substances and other micropollutants (e.g. pesticides, microplastics, heavy metals) in the environment of the project area, water protection-oriented recommendations will be developed. The strategic document will provide opportunities for better management of natural resources not only in the Program area, but also on a national scale in Latvia and Lithuania.
Parallel to the research part of the project, a campaign aimed at educating the population will be carried our. With the help of videos, infographics and leaflets created for this purpose, people will be informed about the negative impact of medicines on the environment and will be encouraged not to throw unused or expired medicines in the garbage or flush them down the drain, but instead to hand them over to pharmacies.

Link to project webpage: http://www.latlit.eu/

Link to the official EU webpage: http://www.europa.eu/

All project publications have been prepared with the financial support of the European Union (EU). Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre is fully responsible for the content of these publications and under no circumstances can it be considered the official position of the European Union.

Project press releases (in Latvian):
Apjomīga projekta ietvaros pēta farmaceitisko vielu klātbūtni notekūdeņos

Project newsletters (in Latvian):

Posts in LIAE webpage:

Project results:

Deliverable D.T2.1.1 Map with locations and short descriptions of chosen WWTPs
Deliverable 1.1.1. Database of API consumption Deliverable D. T1.1.2 Report on pharmaceuticals consumption and potential loads of inlet waters WWTPs Deliverable D.T1.2.2.Database
Deliverable D.T1.2.3.Environmental risks assessment of active pharmaceutical ingredients in territory of Latvia and Lithuania
Deliverable D.T1.3.2. Guidance for future monitoring based on final criteria for and preparation of pharmaceutical lists to be monitored
Deliverable D.T2.4.3. Wastewater ecotoxicity database
Deliverable D.T2.5.2. Report summarizing the information on consumption patterns, real loads and environmental impacts
Deliverable D.T2.6.1. Criteria for selection of WWTPs for further upgrade with advanced treatment

About the project

Contactperson: Ieva Putna-Nīmane, Researcher

E-mail: ieva.putna[at]lhei.lv

Project start date: 01.02.2021.

Project end date: 31.12.2022. Extended to 30.06.2023.

Budget: 673 772.88 EUR


European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

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