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Microplastics in drinking water treatment

Microplastics have become a major concern due to their presence in freshwater resources, which are frequently used to produce drinking water.  This study investigates the removal efficiency of microplastics (MPs) and synthetic fibres in drinking water treatment. 

This work was funded by the SSIGE (Société Suisse de l'Industrie du Gaz et des Eaux) and SIG (Industrial Boards of Geneva). Samplings were performed in a pilot drinking water treatment plant, which replicates the main drinking water treatment plant in Geneva (Switzerland). The treatment processes involve essentially raw water pre-treatment, sand filtration, activated carbon filtration. 

Authors (Angel Negrete, under the supervision of Serge Stoll) evaluated he contribution of coagulation to the overall efficiency of the filtration systems (sand and activated carbon) in the removal of microplastics and synthetic fibres. Results show that on average 89% of microplastics and 81% of synthetic fibres (≥63μm) are retained in water treatment in absence of coagulant. Coagulation process was found to improve the removal efficiency of MPs and synthetic fibres with an overall removal efficiency of 97% and 96%, respectively.

NEGRETE VELASCO, Angel De Jésus et al. Contamination and Removal Efficiency of Microplastics and Synthetic Fibres in a Conventional Drinking Water Treatment Plant. In: Frontiers in water, 2022, vol. 4. doi: 10.3389/frwa.2022.835451 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:160135

June 14, 2022
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