The genotoxicity of untreated and treated sewage from two municipal wastewater treatment plants (WTP BN and WTP SJN) in the municipality of Porto Alegre, in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, was evaluated over a one-year period using the Tradescantia pallida var. purpurea (Trad-MCN) bioassay. Inflorescences of T. pallida var. purpurea were exposed to sewage samples in February (summer), April (autumn), July (winter) and October (spring) 2009, and the micronuclei (MCN) frequencies were estimated in each period. The high genotoxicity of untreated sewage from WTP BN in February and April was not observed in treated sewage, indicating the efficiency of treatment at this WTP. However, untreated and treated sewage samples from WTP SJN had high MCN frequencies, except in October, when rainfall may have been responsible for reducing these frequencies at both WTPs. Physicochemical analyses of sewage from both WTPs indicated elevated concentrations of organic matter that were higher at WTP SJN than at WTP BN. Chromium was detected in untreated and treated sewage from WTP SJN, but not in treated sewage from WTP BN. Lead was found in all untreated sewage samples from WTP SJN, but only in the summer and autumn at WTP BN. These results indicate that the short-term Trad-MCN genotoxicity assay may be useful for regular monitoring of municipal WTPs.