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Treatment of micropollutants

For over 10 years, SUEZ has participated in multiple research programmes on micropollutants with its partners (institutions, universities and local authorities etc.) to ensure the suitable condition of aquatic environments. These programmes have resulted in the development of innovative processes and methods to control the whole water cycle: drinking water, urban wastewater, stormwater  and industrial water.

New contaminants

Removal of micropollutants in water

Our modern consumption patterns lead to the appearance of new pollutants in water: organic or mineral substances with a potentially negative effect on the natural environment and/or organisms. These substances are present in many products consumed or used by private individuals and businesses (medicines, cosmetic, plant control products, insecticides, etc.).

These emerging contaminants called “micropollutants” can be found in very low concentrations in the order or a microgram or nanogram per litre. Progress in laboratory testing highlights their growing presence in the aquatic environment and their direct or indirect potentially chronic effects on ecosystems, even at very low concentrations. 

Research is ongoing, but efficient treatments are already available to remove micropollution from water.
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Custom solutions

A solution for each challenge

There are multiple categories of micropollutants, forming two main families:

  • Mineral micropollutants such as metals, metalloids and radioactive elements (lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, antimony, radon, uranium etc.) 
  • Organic micropollutants such as pesticides, hydrocarbons, solvents, detergents, cosmetics, medicinal substances etc.

 

The choice of treatment technology depends on the type of micropollutant that must be removed but also the desired objectives, investment and operating costs. Each technology has its scope of action which varies according to its place in the treatment chain and the properties of the raw water to be treated.

Due to its expertise and wide range of technologies, SUEZ is able to develop the best technical combinations to deliver an optimal solution to each need.

Our solutions and technologies

Four complementary micropollutant treatment technologies

The technologies employed to treat micropollutants in water depend on the physical and chemical properties of the compound present in the water. As a specialist in water treatment, SUEZ proposes four complementary processes to remove micropollutants:
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