In March 2006, a study by the Institute for Hygiene and Public Health (IHÖG) at the University of Bonn on the presence of PFT in different surface waters in Germany increased concentrations in the Ruhr and then also in the Möhne demonstrated Test series on high PFT levels in US waters, German researchers also wanted to study German soils for the carcinogen to check drinking water quality. In the district of Arnsberg-Neheim, a concentration of 0.56 μg / L was found in drinking water, and the Federal Environmental Agency’s Drinking Water Commission is aiming for a value of 0.1 μg / L.It turns out that the burden of manure derived from industrial waste originated from which was applied to fields located in the catchment area of the rivers. Some areas were rebuilt in the sequence. Depending on the degree of contamination and geology of the subsoil, it was decided to drain with subsequent activated carbon treatment of the leachate or for the removal and dumping of the topsoil.
In November 2006, investigations at the wastewater treatment plant in Rhede showed that high levels of PFT are present in the sewage in the inflow of the wastewater treatment plant. Even in the course of the treatment plant significantly higher concentrations were measured. These studies suggest that PFT accumulates in sewage sludge.
Due to their broad application, perfluorinated surfactants are also released into the environment via municipal sewage treatment plants and can be traced, especially below settlements, to comparatively low-flow waters. An example of this is the Itter below Solingen, where up to 0.7 μg / l PFT has been detected.
Harald Friedrich, at that time head of department in the Ministry of the Environment, suggested that the treatment of the drinking water obtained in the Ruhr waterworks should be fundamentally improved by further measures.
The PFT freight of the Ruhr near Essen was determined to be only 0.044 micrograms per liter for the sum of PFOA and PFOS in the annual mean 2009. Compared to 2007, the average daily freight at the mouth of the Ruhr decreased by a total of 59 percent.