Catalan Water Research Institute research and innovation for the sustainable use of water

A team from ICRA’s Water Quality area collaborates on the La Sorellona Scaniagats Project

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

The team made up of research staff from the Water Quality (QA) area of ​​ICRA, Sara Rodríguez-Mozaz, Jose Castaño and Lucia Helena Santos has collaborated for the second year in a row with the “Escanyagats Project” of the environmental association “La Sorellona” , focused on the study, conservation and dissemination of Mediterranean river habitats.

The work was made possible thanks to the support of the LLIBERA project (SEO Birdlife and Ecoembes), and consisted of applying a simple methodology for the sampling and analysis of microplastics (MPLs) , implemented the previous year in the Celrè river (Quart, province of Girona ), for his study in the Onyar River.

The results have reflected a moderate presence of MPLs in several sections of the river, especially as it passes through the center of Girona (903 MPLs/m3), with a predominance of fragments (78 – 85%) over fibers (12 – 20%) and spheres (1 – 3%). The levels are similar or slightly higher than those previously reported in the Celrè river, a tributary of the Onyar (Ter basin).

At the same time, the association La Sorellona has evaluated the effectiveness of containment networks, installed in various waste water and rainwater collectors, to reduce the arrival of urban waste in the Onyar river. Based on the rubbish accumulated in one of the containment networks (rainfall) over 4 months (1 kg), it is estimated that each network could prevent the arrival of about 3 kg of waste/year/col reader Therefore, these preventive actions are important since this waste, which can potentially be fragmented into microplastics, can contribute to the degradation of aquatic ecosystems.