Group Saur Blog
Group Saur Blog
Published on Feb/23/2016

Removing drug residues from water: can we afford to delay?

Micropollutants and drug residues are regularly in the news. So much so, that a national study into these issues was launched in 2010. Its outcome was a decision by the European Commission in March 2015 to introduce a list of monitored substances for all countries of the European Union. But even now, there are still no formal standards set for micropollutants.


Micropollutant treatment… an emerging environmental challenge

As their name suggests, micropollutants are microscopic in size, allowing them to pass through traditional filtration systems. They are mineral organic substances that have toxic effects on the environment, even in low concentrations. The core of the problem is that their extremely small size and low concentration make them difficult to study and characterise. These substances can be found in wastewater and soil, and therefore in underground water resources. They are suspected of directly or indirectly having irreversible adverse effects on health, especially when ingested.

Stereau CEO : “It is our responsibility as a professional provider of water services with a duty to answer the questions reasonably asked by our clients, to go beyond current legislation on this issue, which will inevitably have to evolve”.

CarboPlus, an efficient and exclusive solution


A revolutionary technology designed and developed by the Saur Group has been operational since 2012: CarboPlus®. Developed out of more than ten years of research, this process relies on the use of a fluidised suspension of activated carbon, which attracts all micropollutants present in the water and traps them in its pores. This process has demonstrated its effectiveness on no fewer than 113 compounds, including drug and hormone residues, Bisphenol A, phtalates and pesticides. In addition to its performance and reliability, another major benefit of this technology is its compact size and small footprint, making the system easily installable as an addition to existing plants.


Although this technology is now patented, Stereau has nevertheless published scientific articles about its performance over the last two years, and involved INRA (France’s top agricultural research institute), the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) and the École des Ponts-ParisTech graduate school in its researches. Saur Group Head of R&D Fabrice Nauleau: “Absorption using activated carbon is the only technique that removes and totally destroys micropollutants”. The clients view is that “this solution really performs”, to borrow the words of Olivier Rousselot, Development Director at SIAAP (Syndicat Interdépartemental pour l’Assainissement de l’Agglomération Parisienne), which hosted a two-year pilot project at its Colombes facility near Paris


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