Increasing Number of Chemicals from Non-Point Sources – An Upcoming Challenge for Biosolids and Wastewater Treatment

Fröling, M.1, Svanström, M.1 and Drakare, S.2, 1Increasing Number of Chemicals from Non-Point Sources
– An Upcoming Challenge for Biosolids and Wastewater
Treatment, 1Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, 2Uppsala University, Sweden


The collection and treatment of wastewater and municipal solid waste are results of society addressing problems connected
to spreading of diseases, toxins and nutrients in our environment. Now, the use in the developed world of different chemicals
in products is increasing regarding both amounts and number. By global mobility of products and people, chemical substances
and infectious agents are spread to geographic areas where they are not expected to turn up. This development is creating
new challenges for utilization of biological waste flows as well as for wastewater treatment. Slaughtering waste, food waste,
municipal composts, wastewater and sewage sludge all contain an increasingly complex mixture of organic chemicals and
pathogens. In addition, the spreading routes of the new pollutants are of non-point character e.g. diffusely leaving a product
over time or during use. By pursuing a better understanding of the nature of these substances, we can form strategies to
beneficially utilize the flows of biomaterials in a sustainable manner.

Non-points source substances are more difficult to manage compared to contaminants entering different treatment systems
through traditional point sources, like e.g. industrial wastewater effluent points, chimneys or solid waste streams.
Pharmaceutical residues and flame retardants are two examples that illustrate how contaminants may enter the environment
through diffuse routes. Pharmaceutical residues, including their break-down products entering municipal wastewater
treatment via human urine is a challenge the wastewater treatment community to some extent already has started to discuss.
Increasing concentrations of brominated flame retardants in human breast milk indicates the problem of substances released
from products both during and after use that via diffuse routes enter both humans and ecosystems.
The collecting of such substances in wastewater and their occurrence in other biowaste streams are results of society’s effort
to handle such streams. The methods chosen must be adapted to discontinue or at least minimize spreading of non-points
source contaminants and simultaneously maximize the resource use of treated water, generated sludge and other

contamination, diffuse sources, robust treatment strategies, sewage sludge

Please fill in your details to download the proceedings

For more information about how Aqua Enviro
can help you, contact us...

Aqua Enviro Ltd

T: 0113 8730728


c/o Tidal Accounting, HQ Offices, Radley House, Richardshaw Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 6LE

  • By submitting this form, you agree that we may use the data you provide to contact you with information related to your request/submission and other relevant Aqua Enviro services. You can unsubscribe from Aqua Enviro marketing emails at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the email. To learn more, see our Privacy Policy