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To identify and reduce micropollutants at source -Feedback from the Regard project (Bordeaux Metropolis)





Micropollutants (MPs) represent an important environmental and health issue. Identifying their sources and then reducing their discharges is the strategy used in France to fight against water pollution. This is also the approach implemented in the Regard project (Reduction and management of micropollutants in the Bordeaux metropolis). The first phase of the project aimed to carry out a territorial, global and integrated diagnosis combining both chemical and biological analyses of the natural environment and the sewerage network from the discharge points (wastewater treatment plant, separate stormwater overflow, by-pass) to the emission sources (domestic, industrial, hospital and stormwater). In addition, a social characterization of the sources was carried out in order to understand the practices, products and uses at the origin of MP discharges and to identify decisive actions to reduce these discharges. The strengths of this diagnostic assessment are the complementary of various approaches (engineering and social sciences, chemical and biological analyses, wastewater and stormwater studies) and the large number of sampling sites. The second phase of the project was to ensure the implementation of reduction actions to test and evaluate their impacts from the environmental (effectiveness in reducing the quantity, diversity and effect of MPs), social (appropriation and satisfaction of solutions) and economic (to guide public action) points of view. The best results have been achieved with (i) the “water families challenge” action on the domestic source, (ii) mechanical rat control actions, defoaming of tennis courts and grassing of cemeteries for the community source, and (iii) the treatment action of separate stormwater in real conditions on a pilot scale. This feedback on what has been achieved to date should help communities interested to implement such an approach in order to avoid the same “mistakes” and, on the contrary, to directly implement actions that give significant reduction results.

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