Nitrate in groundwater is now a serious problem for the water supply in Germany and around the world. In this context, measures to reduce the nitrate content in groundwater and raw water are needed for drinking water treatment. The objective of the research project is therefore to develop an ecologically and economically attractive, biotechnological solution to reduce nitrate from near-surface aquifers.
Nitrate in groundwater has become a very serious problem for water supply in many parts of the world. Widespread and intensive agriculture means that a lot of groundwater has high and, in some cases, increasing nitrate concentrations. In some German regions, drinking water extraction plants can no longer be used without restriction. Without the microbial nitrate breakdown (denitrification) in the soil zone and in numerous aquifers, regionally the concentrations of nitrate in groundwater and raw water would be considerably higher.
The objective of the research project is to develop an ecologically and economically attractive, biotechnological solution to reduce nitrate from near-surface aquifers. A core development is the construction of in-situ bioreduction zones to eliminate nitrate from the inflow of drinking water extraction areas. TZW focuses on the determination of microbiological process parameters to design in-situ bioreduction zones (suitability of active substance) and to develop innovative molecular biological methods to evidence denitrifying bacteria. Both inorganic and organic electron donors are investigated. Practical implementation requires hygienic microbiological, process engineering and monitoring aspects to be aligned. TZW is going to investigate the microbial and hygienic processes of nitrate elimination.