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Evaluation of organic compounds in groundwater of a catchment area of the water works Friedrichshagen (Berlin, Germany)

Contractor: Berlin water Company (BWB)

Period: 09/2004-08/2007


Until 1985, untreated wastewater was irrigated directly onto the soils of several sewage farms in Berlin (Germany). Different projects dealt with the contaminant load of soils and groundwater of several former sewage farms since 1990. Groundwater below a former sewage farm was found to be heavily contaminated with different organic compounds e.g. pesticides and phenols. In 2003, the Berlin Water Company carried out a screening via gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) for organic pollutants in groundwater below the former sewage farm Münchehofe/Machnow. The results showed elevated concentrations of benzene- and toluensulfonamides (BTS) and lead to the necessity to develop a qualitative and quantitative detection method using liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to tandem massspectrometry (MS/MS). The newly developed method enables the analysis of these substances to subsequently pursue their fate in the water cycle. In addition, column tests and laboratory experiments are conducted to study the (biological) degradation of BTS.

Project monitoring:

Doreen Richter, Gudrun Massmann, Thomas Taute (all FU-Berlin, Germany), Uwe Duennbier (BWB)


Dr. Thomas Taute; Tel.: +49-30-838 70 616



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