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Hydrochemistry and Water Treatment


The water cycle in nature can be influenced by
he can never control it, but he must always protect it ...

Drinking water occupies a privileged position among the foodstuffs that a person needs for his life. For this reason, it is necessary to pay increased attention to its quality. In simple terms, we could understand this only in relation to the production of drinking water, ie the individual technological steps and procedures that are used in its production and should provide high-quality drinking water with an optimal composition. In relation to the quality of drinking water required by the consumer, however, this issue moves to a much broader level, starting with the protection of water resources, continuing our own technology of drinking water production, but also its distribution to the consumer. Only by controlled professional intervention in these three areas can the desired goal be achieved - quality drinking water. All these areas are the subject of the focus of our working group.


The chemical behavior of inorganic substances and new PPCPs depends on their chemical structure. A common type of water analysis usually determined the total concentration of individual components. In fact, the individual components occur in various forms of existence (species), which result from protolytic, complex-forming, oxidation-reduction, polymerizing, and biodegrading reactions. It is difficult to determine the individual forms experimentally and so they are frequently calculated on the basis of chemical thermodynamics laws. For this purpose, a range of calculation programs already exists.


Development and extended applications of various new PPCPs require the preparation of suitable analytical methods for their identification and quantification. Among the methods, applicable belong particularly the methods of instrumental analysis allowing detection of the presence of the PPCPs selected even at nanogram concentrations. Attention is primarily paid to selected medicaments, cosmetic preparations, and surfactants. The researchers closely cooperate with the Czech Office for Standards, Metrology, and Testing (ÚNMZ) in creating new regulations ÈSN. They also deal with the assessment and adaptation of new hydro-analytical directives ISO and EN.

Treatment technologies

The main attention is paid to the basic treatment processes of both surface and groundwater. In this context, for example, the optimization of coagulation test conditions is solved in order to obtain both high-quality treated water and a well-separable suspension. In the case of groundwater, it is primarily a solution of the calcium-carbonate balance, which is the dominant balance in the de-acidification, de-ironing, and de-manganization of these waters.

Ion exchange, sorption, and membrane processes

These methods are used for selective and non-selective removal of ions/solutes from water. Particularly attractive is the selective removal of heavy metals from water using ion exchange technologies, the removal of arsenic using inorganic sorbents, or the removal of trace concentrations of organic substances (see below). Membrane technologies can be used not only for the treatment of drinking water but also for the treatment of some types of wastewater.

Modern oxidation processes

The so-called Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) have demonstrated considerable potential in removing difficult-to-biodegrade pollutants from wastewater. Their common denominator is the course at normal temperatures and pressures, and especially the use of extraordinary reactivity of hydroxyl radicals. At present, we are mainly dealing with processes based on the use of ozone and hydrogen peroxide. The main research topics include the possibilities of using AOPs for the removal of nitrogen compounds, with emphasis on the possibility of oxidation of ammoniacal nitrogen to gaseous nitrogen or increasing the biological cleanability of industrial wastewater.


The issue of water treatment has recently shifted to the field of micro-pollution of water resources, especially metabolites of pesticides, or drug residues, and ATB resistance genes. We deal with the influence of advanced oxidation processes and sorption on various types of materials to remove these substances. By using sorption or precipitation processes, we also solve the removal of heavy metals, we also pay attention to the issue of microplastics.

Biological stability of drinking water

In real distribution systems, we can often notice the presence of residual organic substances after treatment processes designed to reduce the content of organic carbon in water, which is the reason for increasing the production of organic matter, biofilm, which covers the inner walls of pipes or parts of technology. One of the chemical-biochemical methods that evaluate or, as a result, predict the deterioration of drinking water quality is the determination of the BDOC (biodegradable dissolved organic carbon) indicator. The work of the working group is also focused on this method of evaluating the biological stability of water.

Recycling and reuse of treated wastewater

The Group participates in solving the topic of recycling and reuse of treated (urban) wastewater, where it is possible to replace the drinking water used so far with this water. This is mainly water for irrigation in agriculture, lawns of sports facilities (golf, football), urban greenery, or utility water to maintain the cleanliness of cities and towns. The economic intention is to produce service water that is cheaper than drinking water used for these purposes, while at the same time using water resources sparingly. The project of recycling and reuse of treated wastewater combines two relatively different topics of water technology: water treatment and wastewater treatment.

Monitoring the quality of watercourses and rainwater

We have been monitoring the quality of the upper reaches of the Krkonoše rivers for a long time, especially the Elbe, Úpa, Jizera, and Jizerka. At the same time, the quality of rainwater in the area of Luční hora - Strážné is also evaluated. Sampling is performed directly in the flow of the mentioned rivers and flows are measured using a magnetic induction flow meter in order to evaluate the mass balances of the monitored indicators.

Our workplace provides:

  • Abbreviated analysis of drinking water according to Decree No. 252/2004 Coll. as amended
  • Analysis of pool water according to Decree No. 238/2011 Coll. as amended
  • Analyzes of water from heating systems, including evaluation of aggressive or incrusting properties according to TNV 75 71 21
  • Determination of metals by AAS method with flame and electrothermal atomization
  • Determination of TOC, DOC and NPOC in waters according to ČSN EN 1484
  • Determination of BDOC (biodegradable dissolved organic carbon) in aqueous samples
  • Determination of TOC in solid samples according to ČSN EN 13 137
  • Coagulation tests in order to determine the optimal process conditions
  • Aggregation tests in order to determine the proportion of particle size in the treated sample and to optimize the formation of suspension and mixing with respect to the following separation processes
  • Leachate tests of solid materials related to Decree No. 387/2016 Coll.
  • Sorption tests focused on the kinetics of the process, including the determination of the sorption capacity of the respective sorbent in a statistical and dynamic arrangement
  • Determination of adsorbable organically bound halogens (AOX) in solid and liquid samples
  • Determination of extractable organically bound halogens (EOX) in solid samples
  • Tests of wastewater oxidation by ozonation, Fenton reaction, and their modifications, aimed at determining the efficiency of the process and its optimization
  • Tests of anaerobic biodegradability of organic substances (including plastics) according to ČSN EN ISO 11734, ČSN EN ISO 14853
  • design of technology for the elimination of micropollutants (drugs, pesticides, ATB resistance genes, etc.) into drinking and wastewater

    For more information contact:

Nina StrnadovaAlena Honova, či Pavla Šmejkalova

Updated: 23.1.2023 15:00, Author: Lucie Pokorná

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