The ARC Linkage Project aims to assess human use and exposure to chemicals including drugs, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle chemicals, and unintentional exposure to environmental pollutants in the Australian population through the systematic collection and analysis of wastewater.

Its unique outcome includes the estimate of per-capita human exposure to chemicals and the release of thereof as it combines temporal sampling from key sewage treatment plants with comprehensive nationwide sampling over the week of the 2016 Census day. 

The outcomes will provide accurate and objective per-capita based consumption and release estimates for a wide range of chemicals that will provide a baseline against which to measure changes in our chemosphere.


  • Australian Research Council


  • Monash University
  • EAWAG Aquatic Research
  • University of Tasmania
  • Flinders University
  • Queensland Government
  • Healthy Waterways
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Australian Crime Commission
  • Turning Point
  • Taswater
  • Urban Utilities
  • Melbourne Water

Project Outcomes

The major sampling event during the week of the 2016 Australian Census was successfully accomplished, with wastewater and sludge samples collected from over 100 Waste Water Treatment Plants. 


Project members