The field activity of Polytechnic University of Marche UNIVPM for the LIFE BLUE LAKES project started in July 2020, with the first sampling campaign at the drinking water treatment plant of Castreccioni, managed by ACQUAMBIENTE MARCHE Srl. The UNIVPM activities for LIFE Blue Lakes will focus on monitoring and characterization of microplastics (MPs) in Garda and Castreccioni lakes. The occurrence of MPs in drinking and wastewater treatment plants as well as in combined sewer overflows will be determined and the removal efficiency of different processes will be evaluated.
During this first step, two different sampling methodologies have been tested to improve reliability of microplastics quantification: the first by pumping and filtering with sieves battery; the second by using a stainless cartridge filter directly installed along the pipeline. The influent and the effluent of the plant have been analysed, together with the effluent of each treatment unit. Moreover, samples have been taken along the production and distribution network of the potable water, in order to obtain a map of the occurrence and fate of the microplastics, from the water catchment (in this case Lake Castreccioni) up to the final water user.
Francesco Fatone, Anna Laura Eusebi, Serena Radini, Alessia Foglia and Cagri Akyol, members of the Water and Waste Environmental Engineering Lab at the Department of Science and Engineering of Materials, Environment and Urban Plannin (SIMAU), will support the scientific research and field applications in close collaboration with the Laboratory of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry at the Department of Life and Environmental Science (DiSVA) led by Francesco Regoli and Stefania Gorbi.
The results will be deployed to develop operative manuals and training activities, in order to support water utilities and public authorities that face the emerging problem of MPs in water environment.