In industrialized and urban areas, surface waters are to a high level exposed to anthropogenic environmental impacts and are therefore often contaminated with a wide spectrum of organic trace compounds. Riverbank filtration is a well established technique in Europe and is most often used as an important component of the multiple-barrier system. During its underground passage, surface water undergoes a diversity of physical, biological and chemical processes, improving water quality significantly and adjusting it in ideal cases to the quality of natural groundwater. By means of examples taken from recent research projects and related to organic micropollutants currently under discussion, this contribution will report on characteristics of riverbank filtration with regard to its purification capacity for different classes of organic micropollutants.

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