Sink to River - River to Tap: Review of Potential Risks from Microplastics

Sink to River - River to Tap: Review of Potential Risks from Microplastics

Published On 09/09/2019

UKWIR – the UK and Irish water industry’s research body – has commissioned the first study of its kind in the UK to develop a robust approach to sampling and detection of microplastic particles in the treated water cycle. This included accurately measuring the presence of microplastic particles in potable (drinking) water, treated wastewater and in the solid residues (sludge) produced by both the water and wastewater treatment processes.

Steve Kaye, Chief Executive Officer of UKWIR stated:

"We’re pleased to publish this important piece of UKWIR research and share the findings with everyone who, like ourselves, is seeking to further the science around the source, fate and impact of microplastics.

As our study shows, one of our key objectives was to ensure the sampling and analytical techniques used were robust enough to produce credible results. We’re confident the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, who carried out the research, have achieved this.

It’s good news that the research demonstrates the water industry’s treatment processes are performing well in removing microplastics, something they were not designed to do but are achieving with significant success.

As ever, with important pieces of research, it has raised further questions which require more study by ourselves and others. We’ll now work with the water industry’s regulators and partners to prioritise the next steps."

To view more information on this please visit our Big Question page to see a two page review here.

To view and download the report "Sink to River - River to Tap - A review of potential risks from nano-particles & microplastics" click here.

To view and download the report "Achieving Zero Harm From Plastics Via Water Industry Operations and Activities. Phase 1: Literature Review, Stakeholder Interviews and A Provisional Research Roadmap To 2050" click here.