Presenter Information

Heather SanchezFollow

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Elick

Start Date

28-4-2020 12:00 AM

End Date

28-4-2020 12:00 AM

Description

Influent and effluent from the Eastern Snyder County Water Authority in Selinsgrove, PA were analyzed to determine if microplastics can be found in the wastewater. It was expected that more and larger pieces of microplastic could be found in the influent and that if there was microplastic in the effluent that flowed into the Susquehanna River, it would be very small in size and not as abundant. Influent water samples were collected, chemically treated with potassium peroxide and hydrogen peroxide to remove organics, filtered and the resulting sediment was examined using a microscope and wood burner (to test for plastic). Effluent was filtered, and also examined using a microscope and heat treatment. Preliminary data indicate that effluent samples do contain microfibers that are on average less than 60 µm in length and 0.2 µm in width. The fundamental presence of microplastics in the effluent proves that microplastics are entering freshwater environments like the Susquehanna River. Recent studies have shown that both invertebrates and vertebrates are ingesting microplastics in the Susquehanna, proving that it is moving through the food chain.

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Apr 28th, 12:00 AM Apr 28th, 12:00 AM

Examination of Wastewater for Microplastics

Influent and effluent from the Eastern Snyder County Water Authority in Selinsgrove, PA were analyzed to determine if microplastics can be found in the wastewater. It was expected that more and larger pieces of microplastic could be found in the influent and that if there was microplastic in the effluent that flowed into the Susquehanna River, it would be very small in size and not as abundant. Influent water samples were collected, chemically treated with potassium peroxide and hydrogen peroxide to remove organics, filtered and the resulting sediment was examined using a microscope and wood burner (to test for plastic). Effluent was filtered, and also examined using a microscope and heat treatment. Preliminary data indicate that effluent samples do contain microfibers that are on average less than 60 µm in length and 0.2 µm in width. The fundamental presence of microplastics in the effluent proves that microplastics are entering freshwater environments like the Susquehanna River. Recent studies have shown that both invertebrates and vertebrates are ingesting microplastics in the Susquehanna, proving that it is moving through the food chain.

 

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