Almost one year ago Water Research Australia proudly launched ECHIDNA — Emerging Chemical Database of National Awareness — exclusively to WaterRA members. While its development continues, we are delighted to announce that the free period of access for members will be extended until 31 December 2022.

A key deliverable of Project 1127, ECHIDNA is a searchable online database designed to equip the water industry with relevant information to make evidence-based and informed decisions around the management of contaminants of emerging concern (CEC).

ECHIDNA includes several unique features:

  • Classification and filtering functionalities to group CEC based on key properties such as persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity making it valuable across drinking water, recycled water and wastewater industries.
  • An inbuilt risk prioritisation tool that identifies high risk contaminants ranking them based on the user-specified shortlist.
  • Direct links to information on management options to address the risk of environmental and human health effects.

With over 200 subscribers to date, ECHIDNA has proved a useful tool for utilities, regulators, researchers, and consultants. The ECHIDNA project team has prioritised the following proposed additions to the functionality of ECHIDNA, based on extensive user feedback over the past year. The highest priority proposals are currently under development as Project Briefs and Requests for Funding (RFFs), and include:

  • The addition of new contaminants.
  • Occurrence data.
  • The addition of biosolids, recycled water and untreated sewage to the risk framework.
  • Sources of contaminants and integration with the CHASM stormwater tool.
  • Remediation and removal options.

We encourage all members to register for free ECHIDNA access if you haven’t already, or continue to use and contribute to the database during this period of development.