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Coliform bacteria removal from sewage in constructed wetlands planted with Mentha aquatica

Avelar, Fabiana F., de Matos, Antonio T., de Matos, Mateus P., Borges, Alisson C.
Environmental technology 2014 v.35 no.16 pp. 2095-2103
Escherichia coli, Mentha aquatica, coliform bacteria, constructed wetlands, environmental technology, gravel, mathematical models, planting, sewage, sewage treatment, subsurface flow
The present study evaluated the performance of the species Mentha aquatica in constructed wetlands of horizontal subsurface flow (CW-HSSF) with regard to the removal of coliforms bacteria in an effluent from the primary treatment of sewage as well as to obtain adjustment parameters of the bacterial decay kinetic model along the length of the CW-HSSF. Therefore, four CW-HSSFs measuring 24.0 m×1.0 m×0.35 m were built and filled with # 0 gravel as the support medium to a height of 0.20 m. Two of the CW-HSSFs were planted with the species M. aquatica , while the other two remained uncultivated. Cultivation of M. aquatica in CW-HSSF resulted in total coliforms (TC) and Escherichia coli (EC) removals from 0.9 to 1.3 log units greater than those obtained in the uncultivated experimental plots, for the hydraulic retention times (HRTs) of 4.5 and 6.0 days. For HRT ranged from 1.5 to 6.0 days, the highest removal efficiencies in counts of TC and EC were obtained when using longer HRT. The mathematical models evaluated showed good fit to average counts of TC and EC highlighting the modified first-order kinetic model with the inclusion of the power parameter in the HRT variable.