Water treatment in China

Lake Tai is the third largest freshwater lake in China and is drinking water resource for several million people. China´s rapid development triggered an increased anthropogenic pollution by discharges from urban areas, industry and agricultural run-off. The serious pollution problems not only pose a risk for the environment but also for a safe drinking water quality. Therefore, the German-Chinese cooperation in the SIGN project (SIno-German Network) aims to adapt proven technologies and management concepts from Germany to the conditions in China in order to improve lake management and guarantee a long-term safe drinking water supply.

Part of the project is the monitoring and evaluation of organic pollutants in raw water and their transformation products in process water after various stages of drinking water treatment. For this purpose, samples are taken in two drinking water plants in China - taking into account the retention times. The combination of target/non-target analysis and cell-based toxicity tests enables not only the evaluation of elimination rates but also the changing cytotoxic regarding endocrine and genotoxic effects which may indicate toxic transformation products. In addition, the pollutant load of the sediment is quantified in order to investigate the role of the sediment as a source of pollution. Based on the findings, a risk management plan will be developed in order to improve the lake water quality and to further optimize drinking water treatment.



  • PhD student: Cora Schmid
  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Elke Dopp (UDE, IWW Zentrum Wasser)
  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Christoph Schüth (TU Darmstadt)
  • Mentor: Dr. Tim aus der Beek (IWW Zentrum Wasser)