Main content area

Efficiency of pilot-scale horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands and microbial community composition operating under tropical conditions

Llanos-Lizcano, Alejandro, Barraza, Eyvis, Narvaez, Arturo, Varela, Lourdes, Caselles-Osorio, A.
International journal of phytoremediation 2019 v.21 no.1 pp. 34-42
Cyperus articulatus, Thalia geniculata, alpha-Proteobacteria, ammonium nitrogen, bacteria, bacterial communities, beta-Proteobacteria, chemical oxygen demand, community structure, concrete, constructed wetlands, genotyping, gravel, gravity, nutrients, phytoremediation, rhizosphere, roots, selective media, subsurface flow
This study assesses the microbial diversity of Thalia geniculate (L.) and Cyperus articulates (L.) in the rhizosphere in planted and unplanted systems with respect to removal efficiency in an experimental horizontal sub-surface constructed wetland pilot plant. The pilot-scale units consisted of six (6) cells of concrete of 0.94 × 0.6 × 0.4 m arranged in a parallel configuration. 29 L d⁻¹ were distributed to the cells by gravity. The hydraulic retention time was 3 days and influent and effluent measurements of COD and nutrients were monitored with standard methodology. Bacteria samples were isolated from the roots of plants and gravel in selective media and incubated at 37 °C. Isolates were biochemically characterized and genotyped with group-specific primers. Results showed that systems planted with T. geniculata removed greater proportions of COD (82%), NH₄⁺–N (83%) and PO₄²–P (83%) than C. articulatus (85, 74 and 72%, respectively) and unplanted wetland systems (80, 72 and 66%, respectively). Bacterial typing revealed several phyla were most abundant, α-Proteobacteria followed by β-Proteobacteria and there was a significant difference (p < 0.05) in CFU between planted and unplanted treatments. The bacterial community varied with respect to plant species or unplanted and demonstrated significant effects to contaminants removal efficiency.