About 100,000 diffente chemical substances are registered in the EU. In recent years there has been a strong call on EU to develop standards for micropollutants in wastewater. Discharged wastewater contains clusters of pharmaceutical active substances that are resistant to biological wastewater treatment processes. This is due to the complex molecular structures of these compounds. Untreated, pharmaceutical residues promote the emerging problems of among others antibiotic resistant bacterial strains.
Switzerland leads the way in treatment of pharmaceutical residues, and Swedish authorities are joining the cause. The so far most discussed and promising techniques are combinations of ozone treatment, GAC (carbon filter) and BAF (biological filter).