WFD and EU Watch List of Pollutants

A mechanism for monitoring potential emerging contaminants which may pose a risk to the water environment was established when the Directive on Environmental Quality Standards was updated in 2013.  The first watch list was adopted in 2015 (in Decision 2015/495) and includes the following chemicals:

  • the natural hormone oestrone (E1);Surfacewater
  • three (macrolide) antibiotics;
  • several pesticides;
  • a UV filter (a chemical that prevents UV light getting though, as used in sun cream); and
  • an antioxidant used as a food additive.

Issue 473 (7 October 2016) of the EU Science for Environmental Policy has just highlighted the findings of a study reviewing data on the worldwide occurrences of these substances and options for their removal from wastewater, and from surface and groundwater used to produce drinking water.  For more information, please go to