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Synergism of natural and constructed wetlands in Beijing, China

Zhang, Honggang, Cui, Baoshan, Hong, Jianming, Zhang, Kejiang
Ecological engineering 2011 v.37 no.2 pp. 128-138
United States Environmental Protection Agency, chemical oxygen demand, constructed wetlands, ecosystem engineering, monitoring, nitrogen, phosphorus, pollutants, rhizosphere, surface water, synergism, wastewater, wastewater treatment, water quality, water shortages, wetland conservation, China
An integrated wetland system (IWS) including constructed wetlands (CWs) and modified natural wetlands (NWs) for wastewater treatment to replenish water to wetlands located at the Beijing Wetland School (BWS) in Beijing, China, is presented in this paper. The synergistic effects of CWs and NWs on treated water quality are investigated. The IWS is proved to be an effective wastewater treatment technique and a better alternative to alleviate the water shortage for conservation of wetlands based on the monitoring data obtained from October 2007 to 2008. The results show that CWs and NWs play different roles in removing contaminants from wastewater. The COD removal efficiency in CWs is higher than that in modified NWs, whereas the modified NWs can compensate for the deficiency of CWs where a stable and sufficient rhizosphere is not fully formed in the start-up period. All removal rates of COD, TN, and TP in CWs and modified NWs vary from 50 to 70%, while the total removal rate of COD, TN, and TP in IWS is about 85–90%. The operational results show that the maximum area loading of organic pollutants in modified NWs (65kg/had) is slightly higher than the empirical one (60kg/had) recommended by USEPA (2000) for free water surface wetlands.