Water Monitoring in NAWA SPEZ 2017

Water Monitoring in NAWA SPEZ 2017

The pollution of surface waters with plant protection products presents a challenge for water protection. The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the cantons have established a monitoring programme called National Surface Water Quality Monitoring Network (NAWA) to evaluate the status and trends of water quality in Swiss surface waters. In the context of this monitoring programme the project NAWA SPEZ 2017 focuses on pesticide pollution in small streams situated in areas with extensive agricultural use. Supplementing the two previous NAWA SPEZ projects more information will be gathered on the temporal and special variability of pollution.

The Ecotox Centre will complement the chemical monitoring of surface waters in the project with ecotoxicological effect monitoring. In addition, the centre will help to assess the ecotoxicological risk of the measured pesticide concentrations for single substances and substance mixtures. The project runs between March and October 2017, with regular monitoring of 5 different streams all over Switzerland on a monthly basis.

The following sites will be investigated:
Canton Bern: Site Schalunen
Canton Basel-Land: Site Weierbach
Canton Fribourg: Site Bainoz
Canton Schaffhausen: Site Hallau
Canton Thurgau: Eschelisbach 

Applied test systems


Junghans, M., Langer, M., Baumgartner, C., Vermeirssen, E., Werner, I. (2019) Ökotoxikologische Risiken in Bächen durch Effekte aus Organismen bestätigt. Aqua & Gas 4, 26-34

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Spycher, S., Teichler, R., Daouk, S., Doppler, T., Vonwyl, E., Junghans, M., Longrée, P., Kunz, M., Stamm, C., Singer, H. (2019) Häufige und hohe PSM-Belastung in Bächen, Aqua & Gas 4, 14-25

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Dr. Etienne Vermeirssen
Dr. Etienne Vermeirssen Send mail Tel. +41 58 765 5295

Project team


02. April 2019

High risks due to pesticide mixtures

The use of organic pesticides leads to high ecotoxicological risks for plants, invertebrates and vertebrates - this has been confirmed by a comprehensive study in five creeks. The results from biotests and bioindicators confirm the results from chemical analysis.

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