This paper presents the concentrations of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and heavy metals in leachates from the autothermal thermophilic aerobic digestion (ATAD). The leachates from ATAD installations (Dąbrowa Białostocka, Hajnówka, Pisz, Olecko, Giżycko, Wysokie Mazowieckie) located in Poland were tested. The concentrations of PAHs in samples from Pisz, Giżycko, Wysokie Mazowieckie and Hajnówka were similar to those in industrial wastewater. The cluster analysis confirmed that in sites with a higher polyethylene (p.e.) input from the industrial sector, the leachates were more contaminated with PAH compounds. In samples from Dąbrowa Białostocka, Olecko, Pisz and Hajnówka, the heavy fraction of PAHs compounds prevailed over the light fraction. Concentrations of heavy metals in leachates from ATAD varied. The Ward’s method isolated the wastewater treatment plant in Giżycko. The p.e. from the industrial sector was the highest for this facility. Also, the samples from ATAD had the highest total concentration of heavy metals (5.87 mg/l). The leachates from ATAD are returned to biological systems of municipal sewage treatment plants, where they can be combined into more toxic compounds. Biological wastewater treatment processes do not ensure the removal of PAHs and heavy metals from the wastewater. As a result, harmful compounds can get into the water or ground, polluting the environment.
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