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Improved nitrogen treatment by constructed wetlands receiving partially nitrified liquid swine manure

Poach, M.E., Hunt, P.G., Vanotti, M.B., Stone, K.C., Matheny, T.A., Johnson, M.H., Sadler, E.J.
Ecological engineering 2003 v.20 no.2 pp. 183
constructed wetlands, Typha, Echinochloa, Schoenoplectus, wastewater treatment, pig manure, liquid manure, wastewater, nitrogen, ammonia, volatilization, nitrification, ammonium nitrogen, North Carolina
Denitrification is more desirable than ammonia volatilization for nitrogen removal from constructed wetlands treating animal manure but is limited by the availability of nitrate/nitrite. The research objective was to determine if partial nitrification of swine wastewater prior to wetland application affects the nitrogen removal and ammonia volatilization from constructed wetlands. From September 2000 through November 2001, partially nitrified and unaltered swine wastewater from an anaerobic waste lagoon were applied to two parallel sets of constructed wetlands (3.6x67 m) in North Carolina, USA. Constructed wetlands were more efficient at removing total nitrogen from partially nitrified (64 and 78%) than from unaltered wastewater (32 and 68%). Both wetlands were effective in removing nitrate/nitrite from partially nitrified wastewater. However, the Schoenoplectus-dominated wetland was more effective than the Typha-Echinochloa dominated wetland in removing total (85 vs. 61%) and ammoniacal nitrogen (91 vs. 52%) from both types of wastewater. Only one of eight tests showed significant evidence of ammonia volatilization (2.1 mg nitrogen m-2 h-1) when the wastewater was partially nitrified. A correlation (r2=33%) between ammonia-nitrogen volatilization and ammoniacal nitrogen concentration suggested that partial nitrification reduced ammonia volatilization because it lowered ammoniacal nitrogen of the wastewater.