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LimCo International

Our goals

To manage water in a natural manner means to get inspired by nature and to use or imitate natural processes effectively and efficiently, in order to sustainably protect water quality in a good status for future generations. Since the foundation of LimCo International we work for innovative and sustainable water management worldwide, concentrating on the interfaces between science/research, economy/industry and consulting/training.

  • As scientific company LimCo International offers junior scientists an ambitious platform to act in projects related to aquatic ecology, ecotoxicology, biology and environmental sciences.
  • As partner for industry and authorities LimCo International performs toxicological tests, ecotoxicity assessments, bioassessments and online biomonitoring according to OECD guidelines and EU water legislation, hence supports the practical application of nature-based solutions in water management worldwide.
  • As consulting and training institution LimCo International acts as multiplicator for scientific knowledge, by transferring scientific results and new technical developments in the water sector to the public and future generations.

Our goals follow the international UN-Decade “Water for Sustainable Development” (2018-2028), the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the UN World Water Report on “Nature-based solutions for water” (2018) and especially also the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) and related regulations. As well as the new National Water Strategy Germany (2023), the new European Urban Wastewater Directive 2023, and the UN-Decade for restoration of Ecosystems (2021-2030).

Please feel free to contact us. We are pleased to advise you personally and individually to design and install your water quality online biomonitoring system according to your specific aims and local conditions.

LimCo International Forschung
LimCo International Forschung
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News from the water sector

Real-time monitoring of water quality: indispensable adaptation to climate change in water management 4.0

dr Almut Gerhardt

Why is real-time based combined biological-chemical monitoring necessary ?

Climate change brings more extreme weather events, such as heavy rain, resulting in overflows with toxic mixtures of substances that reach the receiving water untreated. This can lead to massive environmental damage, with the polluter/person responsible being liable according to the Environmental Damage Act. With real-time monitoring of the water quality, the polluter can be easily identified.

The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) aims at the good ecological and chemical status of water bodies, ie an intact community of aquatic organisms is a direct protection goal. Organisms react to mixtures of substances not to individual chemicals, ie the best integrated monitoring parameter here is the continuous recording of the reaction of the organisms to the toxic potential in the water. Toxicity is an effect-based sum parameter for the entire (variable) substance cocktail and the diverse degradation/transformation products.

With its approach to immissions, the WFD is superior to the other laws, ie water authorities may impose higher requirements on direct dischargers than other laws require, even in cases of pure suspicion (according to the precautionary principle). Water authorities can thus impose more requirements on sewage treatment plants for monitoring and control than the wastewater laws require.

The new EU Municipal Wastewater Directive also tightens the requirements for dischargers, e.g.:

  • Stricter monitoring with regard to pollutants, frequency and efficiency

Real-time toxicological biomonitoring saves time and money for regular , complex chemical analysis, since it is carried out specifically in relation to the "biological alarm" and thus directly monitors the protection goal and allows event-controlled sampling. Thus, the introduction and effect on the aquatic life are directly, efficiently and effectively linked.

  • Strong focus on the polluter pays principle (In the case of accidents, the Environmental Damage Act: penalties!)

With real-time toxicological biomonitoring, the polluter can be identified and prosecuted. But you can also prove whether / that you are not the cause yourself with your own discharge, eg a fish died in a body of water and 5 sewage treatment plants above it could have caused it. If sewage treatment plant No. 5 uses real-time biomonitoring, it can safely rule out being responsible for the accident and thus does not have to pay for the environmental damage that a sewage treatment plant upstream may have caused.

  • Regular waste water management plans are required every 5 years, which provide for a dynamic analysis of the discharges, treatment capacities and mixed water discounts .

With real-time toxicological biomonitoring, the haircuts can be held back to protect the water body. This data complements the wastewater management reports and gives them more plausibility and quality control.

  • In the future, the discharge permit will only be limited in time and as a (legally stricter) permit .

Real-time toxicological biomonitoring continuously proves whether / that the discharges are harmless to the water authorities and thus provides the basis for an objective approval process.

  • Water reuse becomes mandatory

Real-time toxicological biomonitoring allows the monitoring of the safety of agricultural effluent intended for irrigation of fields (eg in dry periods) of agricultural products for human/animal consumption. This serves to ensure the quality of the products and to reduce pollution.

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