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A wastewater treatment plant that limits pharmaceutical pollutants

Cutting-edge technology

epurationAt Saint Pourçain[1], when designing a new wastewater treatment plant, the local council assigned Egis to ensure that the future station would process residues in effluents, mainly from cardiovascular, antidepressant and antiepileptic drugs. Such cutting-edge technology was not mandatory at the time, but in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, the municipality preferred to get ahead of future standards.

In late 2013, Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule opened its new wastewater treatment plant. This was a new kind of plant (there were only two in France and five in the world at the time), which can process molecules that previously had been discharged into the environment. To treat these drug residues, the chosen treatment system essentially consists of adding low load activated sludge wastewater to the wastewater treatment unit, designed for 10,000 PE*, an ozone treatment followed by a biological filtration on expanded clay. This twofold ozonation/filtration process allows for a removal yield of 93% on the drug residues identified and present in the plant’s effluent.


In 2013, Egis and INERIS joined forces to try and reduce the level of micropollutants in water. This alliance aims to offer a joint service to industry firms for their studies related to the knowledge and control of industrial emissions of micropollutants in water.


[1] In France, south of Moulins, a rural community of 5000 inhabitants with a high concentration of medical and hospital establishments.