Emerging Chemical and Microbial Concerns in Water

IWES, University of Queensland, WaterAid Emerging Contaminants

Target Audience

Anyone with an interest in updating their knowledge of chemical and microbial water quality contaminants. This includes those responsible for environmental assessment, drinking water and wastewater treatment, laboratory analysis and stakeholder communications.


This new 2-day course has been designed in response to IWES feedback indicating a strong interest in emerging water quality issues. Participants will be introduced to a range of high-profile emerging contaminants that have presented unique difficulties and concerns for drinking water and wastewater management.

This will include an introduction to the principles of assessing chemical and pathogen risks, which will then be applied to a range of emerging contaminant risk contexts including: novel sanitation systems and reuse, opportunistic pathogens and engineered systems, and climate change.

The material is aimed at raising awareness regarding key issues particular to some of these emerging contaminants. These include potential environmental and public health risks, factors likely to lead to elevated concentrations and treatment process effectiveness.

Learning Objectives

DAY 1 – Emerging chemical contaminant issues

PFOS, PFOA and other perfluorinated compounds
Chlorinated and brominated flame retardants
Hormones and other endocrine disrupting chemicals
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products
NDMA and other nitrosamines
Iodinated and brominated disinfection byproducts

DAY 2 – Emerging microbial contaminant issues

Assessment of microbial risk
Assessment of novel urban water systems
Enteric pathogens (incl. norovirus and Cryptosporidium) and sustainable urban water systems
Opportunistic pathogens (incl. Legionella spp. and Naegleria fowleri)
Risk management.