Microlitter in sewage treatment systems
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Microlitter in sewage treatment systems

A Nordic perspective on waste water treatment plants as pathways for microscopic anthropogenic particles to marine systems

The report presents results from a study on the role municipal sewage treatment plants (STPs) have as entrance routes for microplastics and other microlitter particles to the marine environment. Microlitter concentrations were analysed in waste water before and after treatment in the STPs, and in the recipient waters where the treated waste water is discharged.

Municipal waste water was found to contain a substantial amount of microlitter, but in STPs equipped with chemical and biological treatment most of the litter particles were retained in the sewage sludge. This reduces the impact on the recipient water, but if the sludge is used as fertilizer on farm land the microlitter will still reach the environment. Efforts to reduce the microlitter concentrations should therefore preferably be done in households and other locations where the waste water is originally being formed.

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    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/tn2016-510.pdf
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English
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    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/9789289344913-12-en.pdf
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  • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/environment/microlitter-in-sewage-treatment-systems/acknowledgements_9789289344913-12-en
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Author(s):
Nordic Council of Ministers

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The project was funded by the the Marine Group (HAV) at the Nordic Council of Ministers. We also want to thank the following people: Veli Keto; Aalto University, Ari Saura; Natural Resources Institute Finland, Jari Männynsalo; The Water Protection Association of the River Vantaa and Helsinki Region; Lars Nordén at Ryaverket, Linnea Lundh at Långevik, Halldór Pálmar Halldórsson, Sindri Gíslason and Dreki Guls at University of Iceland Research Centre at Suðurnes, and Ástþór Gíslason at the Marine Research Institute, Iceland.