Material selection for a constructed wetroof receiving pre-treated high strength domestic wastewater

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A constructed wetroof (CWR) is defined in this study as the combination of a green roof and a constructed wetland: a shallow wastewater treatment system placed on the roof of a building. The foremost challenge of such CWRs, and the main aim of this investigation, is the selection of an appropriate matrix capable of assuring the required hydraulic retention time, the long-term stability and the roof load-bearing capacity. Six substrata were subjected to water dynamics and destructive tests in two testing-tables. Among all the materials tested, the substratum configuration composed of sand, light expanded clay aggregates, biodegradable polylactic acid beads together with stabilization plates and a turf mat is capable of retaining the water for approximately 3.8 days and of providing stability (stabilization plates) and an immediate protection (turf mat) to the system. Based on those results, a full-scale CWR was built, which did not show any physical deterioration after 1 year of operation. Preliminary wastewater treatment results on the full-scale CWR suggest that it can highly remove main wastewater pollutants (e.g. chemical oxygen demand, PO43−-P and NH4+-N). The results of these tests and practical design considerations of the CWR are discussed in this paper.

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