Effect of climatic conditions, season and wastewater quality on contaminant removal efficiency of two experimental constructed wetlands in different regions of Spain
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The aim of this study was to examine the effects of climate, season and wastewater quality on contaminant removal efficiency of constructed wetlands implemented in Mediterranean and continental-Mediterranean climate region of Spain. To this end, two experimental horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands located in Barcelona and León (Spain) were compared. The two constructed wetland systems had the same experimental set-up. Each wetland had a surface area of 2.95 m2, a water depth of 25 cm and a granular medium of D60=7.3 mm, and was planted with Phragmites australis. Both systems were designed in order to operate with a maximum organic loading rate of 6 gDBO m−2 d−1. Experimental systems operated with a hydraulic loading rate of 28.5 and 98 mm d−1 in Barcelona and León, respectively. Total suspended solids, biochemical oxygen demand and ammonium mass removal efficiencies followed seasonal trends, with higher values in the summer (97.4% vs. 97.8%; 97.1% vs. 96.2%; 99.9% vs. 88.9%, in Barcelona and León systems, respectively) than in the winter (83.5% vs. 74.4%; 73.2% vs. 60.6%; 19% vs. no net removal for ammonium in Barcelona and León systems, respectively). During the cold season, biochemical oxygen demand and ammonium removal were significantly higher in Barcelona system than in León, as a result of higher temperature and redox potential in Barcelona. During the warm season, statistical differences were observed only for ammonium removal. Results showed that horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetland is a successful technology for both regions considered, even if winter seemed to be a critical period for ammonium removal in continental climate regions.
CitationMarianna Garfi' [et al.]. Effect of climatic conditions, season and wastewater quality on contaminant removal efficiency of two experimental constructed wetlands in different regions of Spain. "Science of the total environment", 15 Octubre 2012, vol. 437, p. 61-67.
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