E3S Web Conf.
Volume 45, 2018VI International Conference of Science and Technology INFRAEKO 2018 Modern Cities. Infrastructure and Environment
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Published online||30 July 2018|
The role of wastewater treatment plants in surface water contamination by plastic pollutants
University of Bielsko-Biala, Faculty of Materials, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Environmental Protection and Engineering, Willowa 2, 43-309 Bielsko-Biala, Poland
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
The aim of this paper was to review the literature data regarding the physico-chemical characteristic of plastic pollutants discharged with municipal sewage, the practical possibility of removing microplastic particles from wastewater during different treatment steps in WWTPs and the problem of surface water contamination within them. Microplastics (the size range of 1 nm to < 5 mm), have been recognized as an emerging threat, as well as an ecotoxicological and ecological risk for water ecosystems. Municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are mentioned as the main point sources of microplastics in an aquatic environment. Microplastic particles can be effectively removed in the primary treatment zones via solids skimming and sludge settling processes. Different tertiary treatment processes such as: gravity sand filtration, discfilter, air flotation and membrane filtration provide substantial additional removal of microplastics, and the efficiency of wastewater treatment process can be at a removal level of 99.9%. Nevertheless, given the large volumes of effluent constantly discharged to receivers, even tertiary level WWTPs may constitute a considerable source of microplastics in the surface water.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
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