Water quality aspects of groundwater recharge

model site in Australia

German-Australian cooperation in the field of Managed Aquifer Recharge strengthens the global network and expertise of TZW.

The concept of the Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) as a so-called post-treatment of treated wastewater offers the possibility of a further reduction of pathogenic microorganisms and organic trace substances, so-called "emerging pollutants". Groundwater recharge enables temporary water storage and is used for volume management of water resources in arid and semi-arid areas such as Australia. Thus, sustainable water availability with constant water quality can be guaranteed. In order to establish MAR technology on a global level, the risks of impairment in the infiltrated groundwater body must be assessed.

Therefore, the project focused on the further development of molecular biological and chemical-physical monitoring methods in cooperation with scientific institutions in the partner country Australia. In addition, laboratory and field tests focusing on the elimination of trace substances and hygienically relevant microorganisms were carried out, in order to improve process understanding. The results of these investigations led to international publications.

The technical and scientific cooperation with Australian partners had the aim to create the basis for long-term scientific cooperation and strengthening the international competitiveness of the participating institutes. Two main topics for possible follow-up projects were identified. On the one hand, a joint pilot plant could help to identify specific questions of MAR technology ("Pilot MAR site for joint Australian-German studies"). On the other hand, the establishment of a joint laboratory for the further development of molecular analysis methods has proved to be promising ("Joint German-Australian lab for molecular studies").


Stange C.,Sidhu J.P.S.,Tiehm A.,Toze S.: Antibiotic resistance and virulence genes in coliform water isolates. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 219: 823-831 (2016) DOI 10.1016/j.ijheh.2016.07.015

Stoll C., Sidhu J.P.S., Tiehm A., Toze S.: Prevalence of clinically relevant antibiotic resistance genes in surface water samples collected from Germany and Australia. Environmental Science & Technology 46: 9716-9726 (2012) DOI.org/10.1021/es302020s 

Schmidt N., Page D., Tiehm A.: Biodegradation of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors with oxygen, nitrate, manganese (IV), iron (III) and sulfate as electron acceptors. Journal of Contamiant Hydrology 203: 62-69 (2017)
DOI 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2017.06.007