Assessment of input of organic micropollutants and microplastics into the Baltic Sea by urban waters

Ulla E Bollmann, Marta Simon, Jes Vollertsen, Kai Bester

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We assess how different micropollutants and microplastics, connected to wastewater are introduced into the Baltic Sea. The relevance of untreated wastewater, treated wastewater, treated and untreated rain runoff, as well as combined sewer overflow (CSO), is assessed in respect to mass balance, as well as relative inflows of micropollutants and -plastics into the Baltic Sea. To achieve this, modelling based on data on exemplary sewer systems and measured micropollutant concentrations in the single sources were used. Most compounds reach the receiving Baltic Sea via treated wastewater. A few exceptions are compounds that are removed to a very high extent in wastewater treatment plants. For these compounds, the emissions with stormwater (e.g., terbutryn) or untreated wastewater (e.g., triclosan) are dominating. Additionally, compounds that are discharged with the water that is running off urban surfaces are introduced into marine areas via rain runoff. These data are used to forecast a total mass load and concentrations that can be expected in the Baltic Sea. Massloads are expected to be between 0.1 and 5.9 t/a for triclosan and TCPP (tris (2-chloropropyl) phosphate) and 0.2 t/a for microplastic particles. The expected concentrations in open Baltic Sea waters range from 0.01 to 26 ng/L.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume148
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
ISSN0025-326X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Wastewater
  • Combined sewer overflows
  • Stormwater runoff
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Personal care compounds
  • Flame-retardants
  • Microplastic particles

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