Faculty of Biology
Aquatic Ecology
Universitätsstrasse 5
D-45141 Essen

Room S05T03B45
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PhD thesis: Entry and effect of pollutants through separate sewer systems

As a result of precipitation events, rainwater with particle-bound pollutants (from tyre abrasion, brake parts, roofing materials, road paint, road construction materials, etc.) is discharged into freshwater bodies via surface runoff canals in separate sewer systems. Particle-bound pollutants have direct effects on species and thus on communities of organisms. In this project, the input, dispersion and effects of pollutants (metals and organic pollutants) in stormwater runoff from urban areas on freshwater bodies are investigated. The first step will involve the determination of pollution of freshwater bodies by rainwater runoff through separate sewers. For this purpose, sediment and biota samples will be collected in transects downstream of rain runoff outfall and analyzed for their pollutant content (ICP-MS, AAS, GC-MS).

A sampling point upstream of the outfall in the studied water will serve as a reference point. The second step will involve laboratory experiments using sediment toxicity assays (with Lumbriculus variegatus and Danio rerio egg test) to provide information on possible adverse effects of the introduced substances on sediment and benthic inhabitants. The overall results will provide a comprehensive picture of the input of chemical stressors by urban runoffs, their accumulation in the sediment layer including benthic organisms and their effects on aquatic organisms.