Recycling of drinking water treatment residuals (WTRs) as environment amendments has attracted substantial interest due to their productive reuse concomitant with waste minimization. In the present study, the extractability of metals within six Al/Fe-hydroxide-comprised WTRs collected throughout China was investigated using fractionation, in vitro digestion and the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP). The results suggested that the major components and structure of the WTRs investigated were similar. The WTRs were enriched in Al, Fe, Ca, and Mg, also contained varying quantities of As, Ba, Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, K, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, Pb, Sr, V, and Zn, but Ag, Hg, Sb, and Se were not detected. Most of the metals within the WTRs were largely non-extractable using the European Community Bureau of Reference (BCR) procedure, but many metals exhibited high bioaccessibility based on in vitro digestion. However, the WTRs could be classified as non-hazardous according to the TCLP assessment method used by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Further analysis showed the communication factor, which is calculated as the ratio of total extractable metal by BCR procedure to the total metal, for most metals in the six WTRs, was similar, whereas the factor for Ba, Mn, Sr, and Zn varied substantially. Moreover, metals in the WTRs investigated had different risk assessment code. In summary, recycling of WTRs is subject to regulation based on assessment of risk due to metals prior to practical application.
- Drinking water treatment residue