Legally binding effect-based quality criteria for Switzerland
Most European countries use ecotoxicologically based environmental quality criteria to assess the quality of surface waters with regard to micropollutants. Below these values, no harmful effects on water organisms are supposed to occur. The amended Swiss Water Protection Ordinance, which came into force at the beginning of 2016, now contains a general requirement. On the basis of this requirement, effect-based values for micropollutants can be added to the Water Protection Ordinance.
In the recent years, the Ecotox Centre has proposed quality criteria for 83 relevant micropollutants on behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment. All proposals are available on our website. For 62 of these substances, the Ecotox Centre is currently reviewing its proposed values for their relevance and adapting them if necessary. The updated and externally audited values will enter a public hearing by the DETEC in 2017 and are expected to enter into force in mid-2018.