User login

You are here


Outcomes of WG5 on water reuse and policy support


2012 - A workshop on Wastewater Reuse Applications and Contaminants of Emerging Concern was organised jointly by the NORMAN Network, the COST Action TD0803 (DARE) and the NIREAS-International Water Research Centerin Limassol, Cyprus in September, to discuss the challenges of wastewater reuse practices with regard to contaminants of emerging concern. As a result of the workshop participants agreed that a dedicated Working Group within the NORMAN network and activities should be established and led by Dr Fatta-Kassinos Despo.

2013 - The kick-off meeting of Working Group 5 was held in Vienna, Austria in June and a White Paper (Mandate) on the objectives and planned activities of WG5 was prepared based on the decisions taken during the meeting.

2014 - 2015 - Screening and monitoring campaigns of selected antibiotic resistance determinants and mobile genetic elements (AR/MGE) from WWTPs in Europe.

Antibiotic residues and bacteria with acquired resistance are able, at the concentration levels commonly found in treated wastewater, to produce alterations in the microbial community, with still unknown consequences. Certain microbial groups are found in both wastewater and soil, leading to the possible transfer of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes from treated wastewater to humans via water-soil-food products or surface and groundwater.

In order to better investigate this new emerging risk and systematically gather and evaluate information on the capacity of the currently applied wastewater treatment systems in removing antibiotic resistance, WG-5 launched in June 2014 a screening campaign of selected antibiotic resistance bacteria and genes on a representative set of WWTP around Europe and Mediterranean countries. As a follow-up and to enhance the dataset and quantify antibiotic resistance genes identified in treated wastewater effluents, a monitoring campaign was organised in April 2015. This action contributed also tothe need, emphasised by WHO, for coordinated analyses of antibiotics and resistance determinants to combat the current rise of antibiotic resistance. 

The dataset produced on six antibiotic resistance genes (intl1, sul1, blaCTX-M, blaTEM, vanA, qnrS) over distinct municipal wastewater treatment plants and geographic areas will be disseminated on the Antibiotic Resistance Bacteria/Genes database of the NORMAN database system (open access).

2019 - Dr Despo Fatta-Kassinos has decided to step down as leader of the NORMAN WG5 and asked Dr Lian Lundy from Luleå Technical University (Sweden) and Dr Geneviève Deviller from DERAC consultancy (France) to take over this role. Directly building on the success of the original WG5, the co-ordinators proposed a new focus on the risk assessment of contaminants in reused water and related activities at the GA of the NORMAN network in November 2019.

2020 - NORMAN – SCORE joint initiative to facilitate data comparison between “SARS-CoV-2 in sewage” studies.

Since the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic, wastewater research groups around the world have been rushing to collect influent wastewater samples. This voluntary initiative aims to support the development of an international comparable data set by developing a common protocol for sample collection, storage, extraction, analysis and data sharing. The first sampling campaign was undertaken on June 1st 2020 with a second sampling campaign undertaken on June 15th 2020. Results submitted using the reporting template will be stored within a NORMAN database system (open access).

The WG-5 meeting planned at the SETAC Europe conference in Dublin, Ireland have been cancelled due to the COVID 19 sanitary crisis and have been replaced by a virtual meeting on the 8th September 2020.

2020 - New WG-5 Mandate (23 November 2020)