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Trace element carriers in combined sewer during dry and wet weather: an electron microscope investigation

Abstract : The nature of trace element carriers contained in sewage and combined sewer overflow (CSO) was investigated by TEM-EDX-Electron diffraction and SEM-EDX. During dry weather, chalcophile elements were found to accumulate in sewer sediments as early diagenetic sulfide phases. The sulfurization of some metal alloys was also evidenced. Other heavy metal carriers detected in sewage include metal alloys, some iron oxihydroxide phases and neoformed phosphate minerals such as anapaite. During rain events, the detailed characterization of individual mineral species allowed to differentiate the contributions from various specific sources. Metal plating particles, barite from automobile brake, or rare earth oxides from catalytic exhaust pipes, originate from road runoff, whereas PbSn alloys and lead carbonates are attributed to zinc-works from roofs and paint from building siding. Soil contribution can be traced by the presence of clay minerals, iron oxihydroxides, zircons and rare earth phosphates. However, the most abundant heavy metal carriers in CSO samples were the sulfide particles eroded from sewer sediments. The evolution of relative abundances of trace element carriers during a single storm event, suggests that the pollution due to the “first flush” effect principally results from the sewer stock of sulfides and previously deposited metal alloys, rather than from urban surface runoff.
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A.G El Samrani, B.S Lartiges, J. Ghanbaja, J. Yvon, A Kohler. Trace element carriers in combined sewer during dry and wet weather: an electron microscope investigation. Water Research, IWA Publishing, 2004, 38 (8), pp.2063-2076. ⟨10.1016/j.watres.2004.01.029⟩. ⟨hal-02283422⟩

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