Emerging organic contaminant removal in a full-scale hybrid constructed wetland system for wastewater treatment and reuse
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A full-scale hybrid constructed wetland (CW) system based on three stages of different wetlands configurations showed to be a very robust ecotechnology for domestic wastewater treatment and reuse in small communities. It consisted of a 317-m(2) vertical subsurface flow (VF), a 229-m(2) horizontal subsurface flow (HF), and a 240-m(2) free water surface (FWS) CWs operating in series. VF and HF wetlands were planted with Phragmites australis and the FWS contained a mixture of plant species. An excellent overall treatment performance was exhibited on the elimination of conventional water quality parameters (98-99% average removal efficiency for TSS, BOD5 and NH4-N; n = 8), and its final effluent proved to comply with existing Spanish regulations for various reuse applications. The removal of studied emerging contaminants, which included various pharmaceuticals, personal care products and endocrine disruptors, was also very high (above 80% for all compounds), being compound dependent (n = 8). The high rates were achieved due to high temperatures as well as the differing existing physico-chemical conditions occurring at different CW configurations, which would allow for the combination and synergy of various abiotic/biotic removal mechanisms to occur (e.g. biodegradation, sorption, volatilization, hydrolysis, photodegradation). While aerobic metabolic pathways and solids retention are enhanced in the VF bed, other removal mechanisms such as anaerobic biodegradation and sorption would predominate in the HF bed. At last, photodegradation through direct sunlight exposure, and less importantly, sorption onto organic matter, seem to take an active part in organic contaminant removal in the FWS wetland. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
CitationAvila, C., Bayona, J.M, Martin, I., Salas, J., Garcia, J. Emerging organic contaminant removal in a full-scale hybrid constructed wetland system for wastewater treatment and reuse. "Ecological engineering", 01 Juliol 2015, vol. 80, p. 108-116.