Arsenic mass balance in a paper mill and impact of the arsenic release from the WWTP effluent on the Moselle River

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Rivers used for drinking water production might be subject to anthropogenic pollution discharge upstream of the intake point. This problem was investigated in the case of the Moselle River, used for water production in Nancy (350,000 inhabitants) and which might be impacted by industrial activities 60 km upstream. The arsenic flux of a pulp and paper mill discharging in the Moselle River at this location has been more specifically investigated. The main sources of arsenic in that mill seemed to be the recovered papers and the gravel pit water used as feed water. The arsenic input related to wood and bark was limited. The main arsenic outputs from the plant were the paper produced on site and the deinking sludge. The arsenic concentration in the effluent of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) was not correlated to the one in the gravel pit water, but may depend on the operating conditions of the WWTP or the changes in processes of the mill. The impact of this anthropogenic source of arsenic on the Moselle River was slightly larger in summer, when the flowrate was lower. Globally the impact of the paper mill on the Moselle River water quality was limited in terms of arsenic.

Keywords: arsenic, deinking, effluent, pulp and paper mill, sludge

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