Microplastic (MP) has been a new emerging contaminant in the municipal water supply. A water treatment process is a key to producing high-quality and safe drinking water. The performance of a conventional drinking water treatment plant (CDWTP) to remove MPs is questionable. This research aimed to investigate the performance of 2 CDWTPs in East Java in removing MPs. Full-stage treatment in two CDWTPs consisted of intake, pre-sedimentation, coagulation-flocculation, sedimentation, sand filter, and disinfection units. Five L water samples were collected with a grab sampling technique in the sampling points of intake and outlet of each water treatment unit. MP abundance and characteristics in each sample were determined using a Sunshine SZM-45T-B1 stereomicroscope and a Nicolet i10 FTIR spectrophotometer. Total MP removal efficiencies in CDWTPs I and II were 66 and 62%, respectively. The coagulation-flocculation unit performed the highest MP removal efficiencies (56%). The MP with 1–350 μm size achieved lower removal efficiencies (33–53%) than that with 351-<5,000 μm size (53–76%). The removal efficiencies of fiber, fragment, and film in the CDWTPs were 61–65%; 86–100%; and 100%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-143
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Ecological Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • drinking water
  • microplastic
  • removal efficiency
  • water treatment


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