River water quality improvement by natural and constructed wetland systems in the tropical semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil

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Journal: Water Sci Technol 2002/01/24
Published: 2001
Authors: de Ceballos, B. S.;Oliveira, H.;Meira, C. M.;Konig, A.;Guimaraes, A. O.;de Souza, J. T.
Address: Department of Civil Engineering-Environmental and Sanitation Area, Federal University of Paraiba, Campina Grande, Brazil.

The efficiencies of a natural Typha spp wetland (Wn) formed on a river bed and its effluent treatment in a constructed wetland (Wc, subsurface horizontal flow) were investigated in northeastern Brazil (Paraiba State). The Wc system (12 tanks with stone gravel, 4.13 m2, 0.22 m3, 20 Typha spp rhizomes, m(-2) each, with 38, 29, and 19 mm x d(-1) hydraulic loadings, and 5, 7, and 10 days HRT) was fed daily with effluent from a Wn. Wn removal presented the highest values after Typha spp were cut during the 5th week. Removal values were (1st and 2nd periods or before and after cutting): 75% and 81% BOD5; 10-53% total phosphorus; 13%-55% ammonia; 89%-91% FC; 90-96% coliphages and bacteriophages. Wc removals increased with time with best results on 10 d HRT. Removals were also higher in the 2nd period: 74%-78% BOD5; 58%-82% ammonia; 90% FC; 94-98% FS; and 92%-96% coliphages and bacteriophages. Despite the high remaining values of FC (1.4 x 10(4) CFU/100 ml) and FX (4 x 10(3) CFU/100 ml), the removals were satisfactory and HRT dependent, suggesting a gradual optimization of the system with time. The Wc exhibited good efficiency for improving water quality from polluted river.

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