Bureau Waardenburg
Varkensmarkt 9
4101 CK Culemborg
the Netherlands
T: +31 (0) 345 512710
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Microplastics in oppervlaktewater
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Analysis of microplastics

Microplastics in surface water (image from microscope)

Bureau Waardenburg has analysed microplastics in water samples and has investigated the use of mussels as biological filters to reduce microplastiocs in waste water.


Microplastics in surface water

Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are prevalent as pollution in surface waters and the sea. More and more studies are revealing the extend to which microplastics are present and that the damage to the health of ecosystems should not be underestimated.  It appears that different types of organisms, including humans, are able to take op microplastics in their tissues, although the magnitude of the problem is still largely unknown. Treated wastewater discharged as effluent from sewage treatment plants, is probably a major source of microplastics.

Researching microplastics

Bureau Waardenburg can help address a number of questions regarding microplastics, including the quantification of microplastics in water and soil samples. Key issues include:

  • What is the extent of the problem in the Netherlands?
  • What are the most important sources?
  • What is the concentration of microplastics in a source?
  • What measures can be taken to reduce the problem?

Reduction of microplastics

In a trial to clean sewage water based on a biological mussel filter, Bureau Waardenburg applied freshwater Dreissena mussels in a water treatment works in the east of the Netherlands. This trial involved quantifying the amount of microplastics that were removed by the mussels. This innovative filter may result in a strong reduction in the amount of microplastics that end up in surface waters.

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