The 30 th anniversary of the GDCh-Fachgruppe Waschmittelchemie (Expert Group Detergent Chemistry) was celebrated at this year's Conference in Königswinter. Unfortunately, only some 80 people attended this fine meeting that was focused on Ecology/Toxicology but also encompassed stimulating papers in Basics/Mechanisms, Raw Materials/Syntheses , and Applications . 19 lectures and 13 posters were given. The anniversary marked the end of the conference in this form because the annual meeting of the Expert Group will be developed to a European Detergents Conference (EDC) that will be embedded in the next SEPAWA Kongress 2005 for the first time. At the anniversary's celebratory convention D. Schermer , Chairman of the Expert Group, reviewed the activities of the Expert Group, which was founded in 1974 in Bamberg to meet the need of scientifically based open discussions on ecological issues of detergent chemistry. In the meantime, the Group has been developed into an active forum for scientific exchange in all fields of detergent chemistry. Furthermore, it has contributed to the practicable solution of many environmental problems and to a more serious public discussion about surfactants and detergents. Many problems remain to be solved, and therefore an active cooperation also with other expert groups of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) is crucial. In his celebrating address W. Koch , General Manager of the GDCh, stressed that in its early days the Group had implemented consumer and environmental protection in its catalogue of topics. In so far, the today's motto “From an isolated problem solving to a sustainable responsibility” is just a consequent extension of its activities. He also asked all members to strive for new members of the GDCh to strengthen this scientific society as one of the largest in Europe. In his celebratory lecture D. Ruchay , Monheim, Germany, summarized “30 Years of Water Protection in Germany – Through Societal Cooperation to Success”. After World War Two there were no municipal and industrial sewage plants in Germany able to work. The infrastructure of waste water management was built up very slowly in the first 20 years after the war. Correspondingly the quality of the inshore waters impaired dramatically. Since 1970 the water quality improved significantly. At that time the water management act had been tightened considerably and the waste water fee depending on the quality and pollution of the waste water was established. Today the water quality in the German inshore waters is fair up to good, but the ecological situation has still to be improved. For some years the water regulations are laid down decisively by the European Union (The Water Framework Directive, The Urban Waste-water Treatment Directive, The Integrated Pollution Prevention Control Directive).