Next Article in Journal
Specific Controlling Essential Oil Composition of Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) Involving Low-Temperature, Low-Pressure Glow Plasma of Low Frequency
Next Article in Special Issue
Are Microplastics Impairing Marine Fish Larviculture?—Preliminary Results with Argyrosomus regius
Previous Article in Journal
Experimental Research and Numerical Analysis of Flow Phenomena in Discharge Object with Siphon
Previous Article in Special Issue
Structural Diversity in Early-Stage Biofilm Formation on Microplastics Depends on Environmental Medium and Polymer Properties
Article

Distributions of Microplastics in Surface Water, Fish, and Sediment in the Vicinity of a Sewage Treatment Plant

1
Water Environmental Engineering Research Division, National Institute of Environmental Research, Incheon 22689, Korea
2
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(12), 3333; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123333
Received: 21 October 2020 / Revised: 19 November 2020 / Accepted: 23 November 2020 / Published: 27 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microplastics in Aquatic Environments and Wastewater Treatment )
Microplastics are ubiquitously found in freshwater and marine environments worldwide. In particular, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) or sewage treatment plants (STPs) have been recognized as a main source of microplastics in the receiving freshwater. However, only a few studies have been conducted to examine the impact of these facilities on receiving waters. In this study, we investigated the distribution of microplastics in surface water, fish, and sediment near a sewage treatment plant (STP) in the Tanchon stream, one of the main tributaries flowing into the Han River, Korea. The concentration of microplastics in water varied spatially and temporarily, ranging between 5.3 and 87.3 particles/m3 (31.4 ± 28.5 particles/m3). In fish, the concentration in upstream and downstream sites was 7.3 ± 7.3 and 12.4 ± 17.9 particles/fish, respectively. Spatially, the downstream site was the most polluted with microplastics in water and fish. The concentration of microplastics was positively correlated with fish body length and weight. In sediment, microplastic concentration in upstream and downstream sites was 493.1 ± 136.0 and 380.0 ± 144.2 particles/kg, respectively. The contribution of upstream to the microplastic load in downstream was 15.8% in dry season (April), which was higher than that of STP effluent and Yangjaechon creek. Meanwhile, the highest load was observed in STP effluent (5.1%) in rainy season (August). Microplastics were more abundant in water in the rainy season (37.4 ± 37.0 particles/m3) than in the dry season (28.2 ± 22.2 particles/m3). Polyethylene (49%) and polypropylene (18%) were the most abundant polymer types in water, fish, and sediment. Regarding shape of microplastics, fragments were dominant (95%) over fiber and film in water, fish, and sediment. View Full-Text
Keywords: microplastic; sewage treatment plant; stream; sediment; fish microplastic; sewage treatment plant; stream; sediment; fish
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Park, T.-J.; Lee, S.-H.; Lee, M.-S.; Lee, J.-K.; Park, J.-H.; Zoh, K.-D. Distributions of Microplastics in Surface Water, Fish, and Sediment in the Vicinity of a Sewage Treatment Plant. Water 2020, 12, 3333. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123333

AMA Style

Park T-J, Lee S-H, Lee M-S, Lee J-K, Park J-H, Zoh K-D. Distributions of Microplastics in Surface Water, Fish, and Sediment in the Vicinity of a Sewage Treatment Plant. Water. 2020; 12(12):3333. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123333

Chicago/Turabian Style

Park, Tae-Jin, Seung-Hyun Lee, Myung-Sung Lee, Jae-Kwan Lee, Ji-Hyoung Park, and Kyung-Duk Zoh. 2020. "Distributions of Microplastics in Surface Water, Fish, and Sediment in the Vicinity of a Sewage Treatment Plant" Water 12, no. 12: 3333. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123333

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop