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Medicines and contraceptive pills can be helpful - but not for rivers

Municipal wastewater treatment must master many challenges. One of the biggest is the contamination with medicines or other microbacteriological or microbiological residues in wastewater.

Antibiotics, painkillers, or - as in the example - hormonally active ingredients are found in all wastewater streams worldwide, introduced either by humans or by animal breeding and fattening operations. Conventional sewage treatment plants remove these inadequately from the wastewater; thus, they enter the environment via rivers and oceans, from where they can exert their harmful influences. Fish become feminized by the contraceptive pill, or they ingest the drug residues, which humans then ingest by eating the fish. If river water is used to irrigate fields, the drugs return to our organisms through the vegetables we eat. If bacteria are constantly exposed to small amounts of active substances such as antibiotics, they build up resistance. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a significant health risk for humans when appropriate treatment is needed.

MANN+HUMMEL counters this pollution of the wastewater with membrane bioreactor processes by adding activated carbon. With the BIO-CEL® Activated Carbon solution, we have developed a technology through which activated carbon can be dosed directly into the membrane tank. There, the hazardous substances are bound to the activated carbon; the loaded activated carbon cannot pass through the membrane. The drug residues are retained and can no longer enter the environment. Filtration thus ensures a clean, healthy future. A future to which MANN+HUMMEL feels sustainably committed.

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