Application of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment in tropical and subtropical regions (2000–2013)
Gersberg, Richard M.
Tan, Soon Keat
Ng, Wun Jern
Date of Issue2015
Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute
Constructed wetlands (CWs) have been successfully used for treating various wastewaters for decades and have been identified as a sustainable wastewater management option for developing countries. With the goal of promoting sustainable engineered systems that support human well-being but are also compatible with sustaining natural (environmental) systems, the application of CWs has become more relevant. Such application is especially significant for developing countries with tropical climates, which are very conducive to higher biological activity and productivity, resulting in higher treatment efficiencies compared to those in temperate climates. This paper therefore highlights the practice, applications, and research of treatment wetlands under tropical and subtropical conditions since 2000. In the present review, removal of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solid (TSS) was shown to be very efficient and consistent across all types of treatment wetlands. Hybrid systems appeared more efficient in the removal of total suspended solid (TSS) (91.3%), chemical oxygen demand (COD) (84.3%), and nitrogen (i.e., 80.7% for ammonium (NH)4-N, 80.8% for nitrate (NO)3-N, and 75.4% for total nitrogen (TN)) as compared to other wetland systems. Vertical subsurface flow (VSSF) CWs removed TSS (84.9%), BOD (87.6%), and nitrogen (i.e., 66.2% for NH4-N, 73.3% for NO3-N, and 53.3% for TN) more efficiently than horizontal subsurface flow (HSSF) CWs, while HSSF CWs (69.8%) showed better total phosphorus (TP) removal compared to VSSF CWs (60.1%). Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) showed comparable removal efficiencies for BOD (70.7%), NH4-N (63.6%), and TP (44.8%) to free water surface (FWS) CW systems.
Journal of environmental sciences
© 2015 The Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. This paper was published in Journal of Environmental Sciences and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of Elsevier. The paper can be found at the following official DOI: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2014.10.013]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.