Department Environmental Chemistry

Mass flux study of selected contaminants in the catchment of Lake Constance

To provide a comprehensive inventory of organic contaminants in the Lake Constance the department of environmental chemistry of Eawag and the institute for limnology in Langenargen (Germany) conducted an intensive sampling campaign on Lake Constance in 2008 on behalf of the international commission for the protection of Lake Constance (IGKB).

The aim of the project was to get an overview of the actual contamination of Lake Constance by using an analytical screening method based on liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry (see [link to project target screening river Rhine]) with special emphasis on the identification of polar contaminants and their transformation products.

About 240 substances and metabolites from different compound classes such as pesticides, biocides, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, personal care products and food additives were investigated. Based on the results of this screening the sources and input pathways of the most frequently detected compounds will be evaluated by a mass flux study. The selected contaminants will be analysed in the twelve most important tributaries of Lake Constance in 2009. The load distribution of the substances in the catchment will be calculated by using a GIS based model which takes into account the use and degradation data of the compounds of interest.