Sediment monitoring in NAWA SPEZ 2017

Sediment monitoring in NAWA SPEZ 2017

The pollution of our 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.

Plants protection products are not always dissolved in streams but, depending on the chemical properties of the compounds and their behaviour in the system, can also be present bound to particulate matter. The Ecotox Centre will complement the chemical monitoring of surface waters in the project with chemical and ecotoxicological effect monitoring of suspended matter and bed sediments. The project will run between March and October 2017, with regular monitoring of 5 different streams all over Switzerland on a monthly base.

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


Casado-Martinez, M.C., Schneeweiss, A., Thiemann, C., Dubois, N., Pintado-Herrera, M., Lara-Martin, P.A., Ferrari, B.J.D., Werner, I. (2019) Ecotoxicité des sédiments de ruisseaux.  Les pesticides présents dans les sédiments on des effets sur les organismes bentiques. Aqua & Gas 12, 62-71

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Dr. Carmen Casado-Martinez
Dr. Carmen Casado-Martinez Send mail Tel. +41 58 765 5747
Dr. Benoît Ferrari
Dr. Benoît Ferrari Send mail Tel. +41 (0) 21 693 7445 / +41 (0) 58 765 5373


21. November 2019

Ecotoxicological effects of pesticides in stream sediments

Pesticides in sediments cause adverse effects on benthic organisms. This was shown by a monitoring study conducted by the Ecotox Centre and Eawag on five streams in agricultural areas. Crustaceans were particularly affected. Concentrations of several insecticides, including chlorpyrifos and the pyrethroid cypermethrin, exceeded effect thresholds, indicating impaired sediment quality.

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