Pollutants in the River Innerste

Occurrence and Behavior of Anthropogenic Organic Pollutants in the River Innerste

In Lower Saxony's surface waters, a large number of organic-chemical substances of anthropogenic origin can still be detected. This can negatively influence the ecosystem and living organisms that are there. Previously, the Niedersächsisches Landesbetrieb für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz (NLWKN) have taken water samples from the course of the river, which have then been examined for the presence of selected contaminants using suitable instrumental analysis methods, such as gas chromatography.

These substances include, for example, the synthetic complexing agent ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and its salts, which are used as detergents in industrial cleaning and as additives in the paper, photographic, and textile industries.

The investigations also analyze other environmentally hazardous substances such as tributyltin compounds or the benzotriazole used as a corrosion inhibitor. The aim of the study is to record the sources of these substances, to investigate their impact on the environment, and if necessary, to identify ways to reduce their entry into the water.