Water Framework Directive Priority Substances

- where should we control them?



Tuesday, 15th November 2016

Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, Edinburgh, UK


Registration is closed



Downloads and Links

Second announcement

First announcement


Travel information

RSC website

SCI website



This conference was the 3rd in a series and aims to bring together leading EU and UK experts in the field of Priority Substances listed in Annex X of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The event discussed issues associated with Priority Substance compliance, where they come from, and where best to control them.

The cost of treating substances is going to be excessive to meet the proposed environmental quality standard limits from the Directive. This conference aimed to demonstrate what other approaches are sustainable from cost, environmental, and social perspectives.

The conference disseminated which priority pollutants are of significant concern from the Regulator and Water Industry and need to be managed. It provided an overview of the range of options using source control and examples of how these have been achieved. In particular it considered the most effective control strategy for Priority Substances in terms of cost and sustainability.

Programme Themes

Our speakers addressed the questions below:

  • Which of the priority pollutants are of significant concern and need to be managed?

  • Where are these pollutants coming from and in what proportions?

  • What is the optimum means to come into compliance with the Directive?

  • How  do we understand what the citizen wants & will pay for?

Who should attend?

EU regulatory users, relevant business (producers and downstream users of substances), water utilities, producers of PS, Watch List, emerging pharmaceuticals, agricultural, trade association for pesticides, veterinary medicines, and trade associations.


Call for Papers

Abstracts were invited for poster presentation. The closing date for submissions was Friday, 30th September 2016.


Exhibition Opportunities

There was a small exhibition of relevant trade stands, priced at £500 per stand.

The exhibition package included:
• Stand area with space for roller panel or poster board to display products and services
• Inclusion of flyers in delegate materials/packs
• Inclusion of an advert slide to be played on rotation on the main screen during breaks
• Sponsor logo acknowledgement on meeting programme
• Attendance by one representative, including food and drinks mixer event (excludes access to technical programme).

Delegate pack inserts were offered at £200 - sponsor to provide pack inserts.


Programme   Where speaker permission has been given, their presentations may be downloaded where highlighted thus.  



Registration and refreshments


Session 1:  Which of the priority pollutants are of significant concern and need to be managed?

Session chair:  Simon Gillespie, Independent Consultant


Developing a strategy for identifying and controlling priority pollutants
Nick Cartwright, Environment Agency


Keynote: Assessing risks for priority substances – challenges and opportunities
Paul Whitehouse, Environment Agency


Priority substances:  issues for human health

John Fawell, Consultant




Session 2:  Where are these pollutants coming from and in what proportions?

Session chair:  K Clive Thompson, ALcontrol Laboratories


National Chemical Investigations Programme – emerging outputs and implications
Howard Brett, Thames Water


Practical source control of chemicals – what can we achieve (including triclosan case study)

Richard Hawkins, Environment Agency


Chemicals in the Dutch surface waters: (how) do we solve the problems?

Leonard Osté, Deltares


Using catchment modelling (SAGIS) to identify the source of priority pollutants
Graeme Cameron, SAGIS Scottish Environment Protection Agency




Session 3:  What is the optimum means to come into compliance with the Directive?

Session chair:  David Taylor, wca Ltd


Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle
David Taylor, wca Ltd


Challenges in eliminating/reducing priority pollutants substances
Elise Cartmell, Scottish Water


Voluntary approaches to water protection – experiences from the crop protection industry
Patrick Goldsworthy, The Voluntary Initiative




Chemical water pollution - public opinion and willingness to pay
Joel Atherton, London School of Economics




Registration Fees

Registration is closed.

There was one registration fee of £150 for all delegates, no concessions.



A limited number of bursaries were available to early career RSC members to enable them to attend this conference gratis. Applicants were asked to contact the Water Science Forum Secretary via the RSC Networks team.

Cancellation Policy

In the event of cancellation before 1st November, 80% of the registration fee paid will be refunded. Cancellations must be received in writing. Refunds will not be possible from 1st November onwards, although substitutions are possible at any time.

In the unlikely event of cancellation of the meeting, fees paid will be refunded in full. Registration acknowledgements will be sent within two weeks.

Venue and Travel

Conference Room, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, High School Yards, Infirmary Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LZ, UK.

The venue is within easy walking distance of the city's main transport hubs, and is home to fantastic architecture, history and green space.

Sponsors and Supporters

We are grateful to the Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) for their sponsorship of this event.


We are grateful to the RSC journal, “Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology", for sponsoring the poster prize.

We are grateful to the IChemE Water Group and of the SCI Environment, Health & Safety Group for their support of this event.


Organising Committee

Richard Allan (chairman)

James Hutton Institute
Bess HomerScottish Water
Daniel MerckelSEPA
Kevin Prior 
David Taylorwca Ltd
K Clive ThompsonALcontrol Laboratories


Secretariat Contact

Maggi Churchouse Events, 3 East Barn, Market Weston Road, Thelnetham, Diss IP22 1JJ, UK

E-mail Maggi Churchouse to register an interest in this conference.

Telephone: +44 (0)1359 221004


Registration is closed