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Rivers and Streams in Lower Saxony Contaminated with Pharmaceuticals

Jülich/Hanover, 19 October 2016 – 30 percent of all flowing waters in Lower Saxony are contaminated with pharmaceuticals. This is the result of a study that Jülich agrosphere researcher Dr. Björn Tetzlaff has now presented at the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change of Lower Saxony. The residues make their way into the rivers via the waste water of sewage plants. According to the study, 7 percent of rivers had a "high" or "very high" level of contamination, with 7 percent "medium", and 16 percent "low". Highly contaminated stretches of rivers are typical for the conurbations Osnabrück, Hanover, and Braunschweig. Water bodies at times do not carry enough water into these densely populated areas to sufficiently dilute the waste water from sewage plants. As a result, wide stretches of the rivers Hase, Wietze, Fuhse, and Oker are strongly contaminated.

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