Beyond the traditional load reduction also an ecosystem-internal mechanism can be used to minimise the effects of water pollution. The control of the internal mechanisms is achieved through the optimisation of the ecosystem structure. This ecotechnology principle is based on the idea to reduce as much as possible the gap between the current (suboptimal) structural status and the optimum structure by intentional manipulations. The spectrum of such manipulations is very broad. A few examples are demonstrated. They comprise physical (e.g. stream morphology), chemical (e.g. enhancing the redox potential at the sediment–water interface) and biological (e.g. enhancing stocks of predatory fishes) control measures. It can be supposed that a new immission concept including the ecotechnology principle could be much more adequate to the demand of modern water pollution control than the traditional emission and imission concepts.

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