Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are designed to remove conventional wastewater contaminants such as organics, bacteria and suspended solids, and there is increasing recognition that contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are passing through WWTPs to the receiving environment untreated. Whilst focus has been on water utilities to upgrade their WWTPs, there has been little exploration into controlling CECs at the source, especially from industrial trade waste generators. The aim of this study is to compile both a physical and digital library of trade waste samples, utilising the ANZSIC system and a pooling technique to group similar industry types, and then analysing and fingerprinting the pools for CECs from the PFAS, PPCPs and drugs groups to name a few. 25 pools were established from 132 unique sites sampled, covering 53 four-digit ANZSIC codes, and novel methods were developed to analyse for CECs. From our findings, CECs hotspot industries can be identified, and steps can be taken to reduce, substitute or eliminate these contaminants at the source, which will mitigate the effects on WWTPs and the receiving environment.  

Please note, this is a student PhD milestone session.