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Performance of integrated household constructed wetland for domestic wastewater treatment in rural areas

Wu, Shubiao, Austin, David, Liu, Lin, Dong, Renjie
Ecological engineering 2011 v.37 no.6 pp. 948-954
Salix babylonica, affordability, ammonium nitrogen, biochemical oxygen demand, biomass, constructed wetlands, cost effectiveness, developing countries, energy, environmental law, freezing, insulating materials, planting, rural areas, villages, wastewater, wastewater treatment
As environmental legislation has become stricter in recent years, the issue of wastewater treatment in rural areas has become an increasing concern. Choice of the most suitable on-site purification systems is based on the key issues of affordability and appropriateness in Chinese rural areas. This paper describes an integrated household constructed wetland (IHCW) system planted with willow (Salix babylonica) to treat household domestic wastewater in rural villages in northern China. The precast frame structure of IHCW is strong and waterproof. It can be mass-produced and installed per a standard set of specifications. The IHCW has achieved high overall removal efficiencies for BOD₅, TSS, NH₄-N, and TP: 96.0%, 97.0%, 88.4% and 87.8%, respectively. A 0.4m biomass layer cover on the system provided significant system thermal insulation, maintaining high treatment performance in freezing winter conditions. The system is cost effective and does not need any operational energy inputs, demonstrating its feasibility for single-family use in developing countries.