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Capacity to influence sources of heavy metals to wastewater treatment sludge
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Tema Institute.
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics.
Söderberg, H., Urban Water, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Göteborg, Sweden.
2003 (English)In: Environmental Management, ISSN 0364-152X, E-ISSN 1432-1009, Vol. 31, no 3, 421-428 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Wastewater treatment sludge contains valuable nutrients, yet represents a residue problem due to the amount of heavy metals, which is one of the factors preventing the use of sludge as fertilizer. In Sweden, the government has a declared aim of closing the ecocycles of nutrients to arable land, while at the same time the existing limit values are among the lowest in the world. This paper focuses on the opportunities for Swedish wastewater utilities (WWUs) to manage and reduce sources of heavy metals in order to get sludge approved and recycled. A case study focusing on sources of the heavy metals Cd, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn and the WWUs ability to influence the source by means of existing regulations was traced and categorized. A substantial fraction of the heavy metals were shown to be caused by diffuse emissions, such as the use of goods and products in society. For most sources discussed in the paper, a WWU can only manage the sources to a limited extent, if at all. This study shows that the WWUs cannot manage both recycling of nutrients and a decrease in heavy metals ending up in sludge. Diffuse emissions of heavy metals must be examined in context, not as a separate phenomenon or an issue for a single actor. The existing environmental legislation does not handle diffuse sources, yet long-term strategies for reducing the emissions to wastewater treatment must involve the reduction of diffuse emissions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 31, no 3, 421-428 p.
Keyword [en]
Discharges during use, Emissions, Environmental legislation, Goods, Heavy metals, Sewage, Wastewater treatment
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-46706DOI: 10.1007/s00267-002-2810-8OAI: diva2:267602

On the day of the defence date the title of this article was: Environmental Assessment: Capacity to influence sources of heavy metals to wastewater treatment sludge.

Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2014-09-25
In thesis
1. Urban heavy metals: Stocks and flows
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Urban heavy metals: Stocks and flows
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Levels of heavy metals in different media are high today, both in Stockholm and other urban areas. Where do the metals come from? Production emissions and point sources are not the answer, since earlier research has shown that production emissions are lower than emission from goods during use (the diffuse emission). Hence, in order to understand the flow of different metals to different recipients it is necessary to understand the use of heavy metals in goods. This thesis quantifies the use of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Zn) in goods in Stockholm, Sweden. It also quantifies the diffuse emission from the goods.

The results of this thesis show that the stock of heavy metals in goods in Stockholm is large. Per capita, it has been estimated to about:170 kg Cu, 70 kg Pb, 40 kg Zn, 8 kg Cr, 4 kg Ni, 0.2 kg Cd and finally 0.01 kg Hg. Accumulation probably still continues, with the exception of Hg and possibly Cd. The accumulation rates have not been calculated due to lack of reliable recycling data.

The waste flow is large, hundreds of tons for Cu, Zn and Pb, for example. The majority of the goods are used in protected environments, hence the diffuse emission is negligible. Other goods are used in exposed environments and the diffuse emission is rather large.

It is also shown that diffuse emission from goods is the main source of heavy metals to the wastewater treatment plant Henriksdal in Stockholm. The diffuse sources are not efficiently regulated in the Environmental Code in Sweden, which makes it difficult for the water company (and others) to decrease diffuse emissions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University, 2003. 46 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 270
Heavy metais, urban areas, Substance flow analysis, inflow, stock, outflow, diffuse emisson, waste, wastewater treatment plant, legislation, Tungmetaller, miljöaspekter
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-29572 (URN)14947 (Local ID)91-7373-634-1 (ISBN)14947 (Archive number)14947 (OAI)
Public defence
2003-04-29, Elysion, Hus T, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2014-09-01Bibliographically approved

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