Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 3127–3138 | Cite as

Prioritization of substances for national ambient monitoring of sediment in Switzerland

  • Maria del Carmen Casado-MartinezEmail author
  • Michel Wildi
  • Benoit J.D. Ferrari
  • Inge Werner
Environmental Quality Benchmarks for Aquatic Ecosystem Protection: Derivation and Application


In Switzerland, surface waters are protected by the Swiss Water Protection Ordinance (OEaux; OFEV 1998), which stipulates that the water quality shall be such that the water, suspended matter, and sediments contain no persistent synthetic substances to ensure the protection of aquatic life. Local agencies are in charge of water quality monitoring, using a set of validated methods. Several lists of priority substances have been developed for aquatic microcontaminants for surface water monitoring but not for sediments. Some local agencies have established sediment monitoring programs, but to date, there exists no harmonized methodology for sediment quality assessment in Switzerland. Within the main goal of developing and providing methodologies for monitoring sediment quality in Switzerland, a screening was performed to help prioritize sediment-relevant microcontaminants. The screening approach was largely based on the NORMAN (network of reference laboratories, research centers, and related organizations for monitoring emerging environmental substances) system and was carried out in four steps: (1) identification of candidate substances, (2) selection of sediment relevant substances, (3) classification of substances into different categories based on identified data gaps and envisaged actions, and (4) ranking within each action category. This paper describes the methodology used in the prioritization process for sediment-relevant substances and provides recommendations for monitoring strategies in Switzerland.


Substance prioritization Sediment Monitoring Risk-based assessment 



The authors wish to thank the advisory group of the project for the development of a module sediment for Switzerland (Marc Babut, Felippe Deallencastro, Nathalie Dubois, Stefan Gautschi, Christian Goetz, Pascal Nirel, Rico Ryser, Serge Santiago, Jurg Sinniger, Nele Schuwirtz) and, in particular, the prioritization working group (Nathalie Chèvre, Juliane Hollender, Robert Kase, Jean-Luc Loizeau, Christian Michel, Irene Wittmer, and Christoph Reusser). We also acknowledge Aurea Chiaia-Hernandez and CIPEL, who provided environmental data, and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions to improve the quality of the paper.

Supplementary material

11356_2017_9082_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria del Carmen Casado-Martinez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michel Wildi
    • 1
  • Benoit J.D. Ferrari
    • 1
  • Inge Werner
    • 2
  1. 1.Swiss Centre for Applied Ecotoxicology Eawag/EPFLLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Swiss Centre for Applied Ecotoxicology Eawag/EPFLDübendorfSwitzerland

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