Long-term investigation of constructed wetland wastewater treatment and reuse: Selection of adapted plant species for metaremediation

Abstract : A highly diverse plant community in a constructed wetland was used to investigate an ecological treatment system for human wastewater in an arid climate. The eight-year operation of the system has allowed the identification of a highly adapted and effective plant consortium that is convenient for plant-assisted metaremediation of wastewater. This constructed wetland pilot station demonstrated effective performance over this extended period. Originally, there were twenty-five plant species. However, because of environmental constraints and pressure from interspecific competition, only seven species persisted. Interestingly, the molecular phylogenetic analyses and an investigation of the photosynthetic physiology showed that the naturally selected plants are predominately monocot species with C4 or C4-like photosynthetic pathways. Despite the loss of 72% of initially used species in the constructed wetland, the removal efficiencies of BOD, COD, TSS, total phosphorus, ammonia and nitrate were maintained at high levels, approximately 90%, 80%, 94%, 60% and 50%, respectively. Concomitantly, the microbiological water tests showed an extremely high reduction of total coliform bacteria and streptococci, about 99%, even without a specific disinfection step. Hence, the constructed wetland system produced water of high quality that can be used for agricultural purposes. In the present investigation, we provide a comprehensive set of plant species that might be used for long-term and large-scale wastewater treatment.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 10:45:21 AM
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Mohamed Mounir Saggaï, Abdelkader Aïnouche, Mark Nelson, Florence Cattin, Abdelhak El Amrani. Long-term investigation of constructed wetland wastewater treatment and reuse: Selection of adapted plant species for metaremediation. Journal of Environmental Management, Elsevier, 2017, 201, pp.120-128. ⟨10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.06.040⟩. ⟨hal-01579436⟩

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