Nancy Laboratory for Hydrology
Address : 40, rue Lionnois 54000 Nancy
Phone : +33 (0) 3 83 38 87 20
Manager : Jean-François Munoz
The Nancy Laboratory for Hydrology contributes to ensuring the health quality of water for human consumption, by carrying out missions on a French national scale. It provides scientific and technical support to public policymakers on behalf of the French Directorate General for Health (DGS) of the Ministry of Health. With its 23 scientific and technical staff members, it deals with health risks related to water due to the presence of chemical or microbiological contaminants.
- The Laboratory provides scientific and technical support to the French Directorate General for Health and its decentralised departments.
- It helps draw up guidelines and health standards for water.
- It participates in European expert groups.
- It is developing a study and research programme on the whole water cycle, the quality of raw water used to produce drinking water and its treatment, and bottled water.
- It deals with requests for importing bottled natural mineral water.
The Laboratory also conducts research on the chemistry and microbiology of water.
2 Research Units
- 2 Rese- Water Chemistry UnitWater Chemistry Unit
Water Microbiology Unit
As the French national reference laboratory, it carries out reference activities on the subject of “Water”.
Its missions concern water intended for human consumption (WIHC), natural mineral waters (NMW) and recreational water (RW) at the request of the French Directorate General for Health.
The biological and chemical contaminants covered by the reference activities concern all regulated parameters and non-regulated emerging parameters.
In this context, the Laboratory performs different activities:
- running networks of specialist laboratories,
- processing accreditation applications from laboratories and organising inter-laboratory proficiency tests (ILPTs),
- acquiring knowledge through French national campaigns on the occurrence of emerging substances,
- conducting scientific and technical expert appraisals to dispel doubts concerning the results of water health inspections,
- developing or improving methods and communicating them to the accredited laboratories.
Assessing the persistence of plant protection products with regard to the quality of water resources intended for human consumption
This subject is being developed in conjunction with the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and is part of the food hygiene topic. The quality of water in the water supply is studied at three levels:
Qualification of water produced by farming practices at plot level by:
- devising methods for measuring more than 70 pesticide compounds present in low concentrations,
- devising methods for sampling the water produced by agricultural plots taking into account their contamination by pesticide compounds,
- studying the persistence of pesticide compounds used on previous crops, in the water produced by a plot as a function of past and present crop systems and soil type.
- studying the link between the quality of the water produced by a plot and the quality of the water produced by a series of plots in a micro-catchment area,
- developing a method for extrapolating to the entire catchment basin.
Monitoring the effect on pesticide degradation of buffer zones at agricultural plot outlets upstream of the raw Moselle river water used for producing drinking water: a study of 10 plots
Bottled water: assessment of migratory phenomena in water bottling materials
In accordance with European regulations, since 2005 spring and mineral water producers have been responsible for demonstrating the safety and stability of the materials used for their bottling.
Formerly, these materials had to receive authorisation from the French Ministry of Health following tests carried out exclusively by the Nancy Laboratory.
With 30 years of expertise and experience in material approval, the Nancy Laboratory studies the migration of the constituents found in materials and assesses their impact, toxicological in particular, on water quality. This work ensures the safety of migrating compounds.
Study of disinfection by-products in drinking water supply systems
The Laboratory assesses the concentration levels of disinfection by-products (DBPs) (1) in drinking water distribution systems, in partnership with the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS).
This study will help improve the measurement of population exposure to DBPs, a prerequisite for health impact studies. By improving knowledge about DBPs, it will also help to optimise water treatment and distribution systems.
The research programme is examining:
- the development of a predictive model for changes in DBP concentrations,
- the assessment of population exposure measurement methods.
(1) Disinfection by-products are generated following chemical reactions by chlorine, ozone or chlorine dioxide used to make water drinkable.
- Research on veterinary and human drug residues in raw water and drinking water
- Research on emerging compounds in raw water and drinking water
- Viability and infectious potential of pathogenic microorganisms in drinking water
- Detection and occurrence of the avian influenza virus in bodies of water
- Assessment of the effect of plant protection product residues on the quality of water resources intended for human consumption
- Study of the migration and toxicity of migratory compounds from materials in bottled water
- Disinfection by-products in drinking water supplies
- Directorate General for Health (DGS)
- French Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS)
- French National Institute for Agricultural Research of Mirecourt (INRA Mirecourt)
- General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF – Talence Laboratory)