Microplastics from Wastewater Treatment Plants—Preliminary Data

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Wastewater treatment plants (WWTIP) are a potential source of microplastics [1,2]. Several types of microplastics, namely microbeads, fibres and fragments, were analysed in two WWTP effluent serving different Portuguese communities. A bigger station treating mixed domestic and industrial wastewater averaging 18000 m day and a smaller station with treating mostly domestic wastewater averaging 7250 m day. A total of 6065 microplastics were observed in 5,5 litres of wastewater sampled. 90% of the microplastics analysed were fragments and 88% were collected from treated effluent (1687 items in average per litre). Fibres presented a higher percentage in the affluent (88%), comparing to treated effluent (12%). Regarding sizes, microplastics with less than 0, 5 mm were the most representative in both WWTP. Fibres with 1 to 2 mm were more common. This study intends to contribute with a standardized methodology to analyse microplastics in wastewater, from sampling to identification, measuring and handling processes in the laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Microplastic Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea
EditorsM. Cocca, E. Di Pace, M. Errico, G. Gentile, A. Montarsolo, R. Mossotti
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-71279-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-71278-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventInternational Conference on Microplastic Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea - Capri, Italy
Duration: 26 Sept 201729 Sept 2017

Publication series

NameSpringer Water
ISSN (Print)2364-6934
ISSN (Electronic)2364-8198


ConferenceInternational Conference on Microplastic Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea


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