Hazardous substances in rivers

Indicator Fact Sheet (Deprecated)
Prod-ID: IND-261-en
Also known as: WHS 002
Topics: ,
This content has been archived on 07 May 2015, reason: No more updates will be done

Assessment made on  01 May 2004

Generic metadata


Water Water (Primary theme)

DPSIR: State


Indicator codes
  • WHS 002

Policy issue:  Is pollution of rivers with hazardous substances decreasing?


Key assessment

The data arising from EUROWATERNET indicate that there has been a significant decrease in heavy metal concentrations in some rivers in some EEA countries, and of some pesticides and some other organic substances in the UK. For those relatively few substances with data, at the national level average concentrations are generally below existing quality standards. Standards however may be exceeded at specific stations often below point discharges or at stations impacted by diffuse pollution (see sub-indicators). It is not known how representative the relative few stations and countries are of the general or compliance situation in EEA countries. The significant decrease in many EU countries reflects the success of the measures required under the Dangerous Substances Directive. Information on the remaining List I substances and on many of the new WFD Priority List substances is much more limited. Any decreases in non-EU countries are also likely to reflect the closure of polluting indicators during the economic transition process to EU membership.


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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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