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Contaminants of Emerging Concern risk assessment and management system

Project Number # 1127

Development of management system for emerging contaminants within the water industry

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The aim of Project 1127 was to help the water industry better manage and understand contaminants of emerging concern (CEC), through:

  • The creation of a CEC database
  • The development of a classification system based on source, treatment and effects to facilitate management of CEC by the water industry
  • The development of risk assessment approaches based on different classifications (i.e., source, treatment and effects) and integrate this functionality into the database as a prioritisation tool
  • Guidance on including CEC into current water quality risk management plans/frameworks (e.g. ADWG, AGWR)


The Emerging Chemicals Database for National Awareness (ECHIDNA) was developed to make CEC information and risk prioritisation available to water professionals and assist them with management and decision-making surrounding CEC in various water systems.

ECHIDNA is a web-accessible data repository with integrated CEC risk prioritisation framework. It helps identify potentially important CEC that may pose a risk to humans and the environment. The database and its ability to inform risk will continue to grow as new information is generated and incorporated, meaning its growth and ability to support water utilities, regulators, academics, and consultants will evolve to reflect user engagement with the system.

ECHIDNA includes several unique features aimed at directly helping the water industry make evidence-based and informed decisions around the management of CEC including:

  • Classification and filtering functionalities to group CEC based on key properties and shortlist contaminants based on specific user needs
  • An inbuilt risk prioritisation tool to identify high risk contaminants and rank them based on the user-specified shortlist
  • Direct links to information on management options to address the risk of environmental and human health effects

Project Documents