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Rural domestic wastewater treatment in constructed ditch wetlands: Effects of influent flow ratio distribution

Ma, Yuhui, Zhai, Yukun, Zheng, Xiangyong, He, Shengbing, Zhao, Min
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.225 pp. 350-358
chemical oxygen demand, constructed wetlands, models, nitrate nitrogen, nitrogen, pollution control, sewage treatment, sustainable technology, total nitrogen, wastewater, winter
Constructed wetlands (CWs) are a sustainable technology used to remove pollutants from wastewater; however, their low total nitrogen (TN) removal efficiency remains a pressing issue. Constructed ditch wetland systems (CDWs) differ from CWs in being narrow and shallow. This study observed the performance of CDWs throughout their operational period and investigated the causes of their low TN removal rates. To enhance TN removal, we propose an approach where the inflow is divided into two parts with different influent flow ratios. Four systems were trialed in parallel to examine the effects of the influent flow ratio distribution on organics removal and nitrogen transformation. A flow ratio of 1:2 was considered optimal following comparison of the four experimental CDWs. The removal efficiencies of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and TN in the control CDW (influent flow ratio 3:0) during winter were 91.15% and 25.87%, respectively, whereas the removal efficiencies of the best-performing CDW (influent flow ratio 1:2) were 91.59% and 50.40%, respectively. Based on an analysis of nitrogen transformation, a model of effluent TN and nitrate nitrogen concentration in the four CDWs was constructed.