Main content area

Effect of wastewater step-feeding on removal efficiency of pilot-scale horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands

Stefanakis, Alexandros I., Akratos, Christos S., Tsihrintzis, Vassilios A.
Ecological engineering 2011 v.37 no.3 pp. 431-443
Phragmites australis, ammonia, biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, constructed wetlands, nitrogen, organic matter, phosphorus, planting, stream channels, subsurface flow, temperature, wastewater
The performance of a pilot-scale horizontal subsurface flow (HSF) constructed wetland is investigated with emphasis on the effects of wastewater step-feeding. One pilot-scale unit, of dimensions 3m in length and 0.75m in width, operated continuously from January 2004 until February 2007. The unit contained cobbles obtained from a river bed and was planted with common reed (Phragmites australis). Synthetic wastewater was introduced to the unit. During the first two years of operation (period A) one inflow point was used at the upstream end of the unit. During the third year of operation (period B), wastewater step-feeding was adopted. Wastewater was introduced to the unit through three inlet points: one at the upstream end of the unit length and the other two at 1/3 and 2/3 of the unit length. Two wastewater step-feeding schemes were examined during the second working period: 33:33:33 and 60:25:15. Three HRTs (6, 8 and 14 days) were applied; wastewater temperatures varied from 6.0 to 25.0°C. On the whole, the adoption of step-feeding in a HSF CW may be positive if an appropriate scheme is selected. Indeed, the removal of organic matter (BOD₅ and COD), nitrogen (TKN and ammonia) and phosphorus (Total Phosphorus and ortho-phosphate) was improved under the step-feeding Scheme 60:25:15, while the other scheme (33:33:33) affected negatively the wetland performance.