Rapid industrial development, agricultural run-off and high density of population enhance the impact of contamination to surface and drinking waters. This situation is given in Eastern China, a region with a prosperous economy and traditional agricultural background. Steadily increasing water demand implies the direct use of surface water - especially river water - or at least bank filtrate for raw drinking water and foodstuff production. On the other hand, the protection of drinking water quality is one of the most important mandates of the Environmental Department of any government.
Within the framework of a shared-cost action supported by funding from the European Commission, a one-year monitoring program on the rivers Liao-He and Yangtse was organized mainly aiming on an evaluation of the presence of polychlorinated pollutants and some additional polar biocides, like triazines and organophosphorous insecticides. The spatial and seasonal variations, distributions and dynamics of biocides in the river water, river sediment and suspended solids were investigated and high values - especially of atrazine - were found, reflecting an actual use of biocides. Based on these results, a pilot-sampling campaign on drinking water was performed. Further investigations on the drinking water quality are planed. Exchange of scientists, methods and technical know-how are the aims of this project.