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Innovative Concepts and Technologies for the Separate Treatment of Wastewater from Health Care Facilities

Brief description

The cooperative project SAUBER+ undertakes to comprehensively characterize and assess risks to consumers and the environment caused by the discharge of pollutants and pathogens from health care facilities, nursing homes, hospices, clinics and GP practices into the water cycle, and to ultimately establish a risk management strategy. The objectives of the project are to:

  • characterize the risks resulting from the emission of pharmaceuticals and pathogens from various health care facilities into the aquatic environment;
  • investigate and further develop technologies and operating strategies to treat different wastewater streams; this will permit an extensive evaluation and an improved practicability of the technologies and strategies;
  • strengthen risk awareness of relevant actors and society at large in order to initiate targeted changes in behavior.

DIALOGIK contribution

The main tasks of DIALOGIK are to apply the concept of inclusive risk governance to the risk under investigation and to develop measures of risk communication. Key activities are:

  • participatory evaluation of risks and management options (by use of the methods of value tree analysis and Group-Delphi);
  • identification of legal aspects in regard to the implementation of possible risk management strategies (by use of an expert workshop);
  • feedback-supported (by use of focus groups) development of information-based and dialogue-based risk communication measures.

Project partners

  • 6 research institutions: RWTH Aachen University; Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE); Leuphana Institute of Sustainable Environmental Chemistry; Leuphana Institute for Environmental Communication (INFU); University Hospital Freiburg; DIALOGIK;
  • 5 partners from practice: Emscher Genossenschaft and Lippe Verband; Ortenau Clinic; Carbon Service & Consulting GmbH & Co.KG; UMEX; MICRODYN-NADIR GmbH;
  • and more than 20 stakeholders: from professional organizations; health insurance companies; environmental organizations; consumer and patients’ organizations; institutions responsible for inpatient or outpatient elderly care; pharmaceutical industry, and many more.