Investigation of Microplastics Contamination in Domestic Wastewater

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Kullatida Rajsiri
Suchat Leungprasert


This research aimed to study types and quantify of microplastics contaminated in domestic wastewater. For this study, two areas were studied including influent wastewater and effluent receiving canal. The first study area was the influent wastewater defined as grey water discharged from 3 residential types: dormitories, apartments, and condos. The second study area was the effluent receiving canal at the points located upstream, midstream, and downstream. Microplastics analysis was adapted from the method designated by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The results show that the analyzed data were correlated in both (e.g., amount, color) and polymer type of microplastics.  The amount of microplastics size of 300 µm
was more than microplastics size of 500 µm. The amount of microplastics size of 300 µm and
500 µm were in the range of 0.43±0.09 - 1.33±0.36 items/L and 0.30±0.05 - 1.07±0.37 items/L, respectively. In addition, the amount of microplastics increased along with the distance of canal from the effluent discharge point.  As the distance increases, the higher dispersion of microplastics was existed. The shapes of microplastics were found to be fiber types the most, followed by fragment types, film types, sheet types and sphere/pellet types. Transparent color was the most common color of microplastics, generated from the washing synthetic textile products. For the results of the polymer-type identification by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis, Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) were the polymer types found at the highest proportion in all samples.


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