Organic matter and nitrogen removal at planted wetlands treating domestic septage with varying operational strategies

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

A two-staged engineered wetland-based system was designed and constructed to treat raw domestic septage. Hydraulic loading rates (HLRs) of 8.75 and 17.5 cm/d were studied with four and eight daily dosings at the second stage of the system to investigate the influence of the regimes on septage treatment. Removal of organic matter (OM) was found to be HLR dependent, where the results indicated that the increase of HLR from 8.75 to 17.5 cm/d impaired the overall level of treatment in the wetland units. Effluent of wetland fed at HLR 17.5 cm/d presented significantly lower oxygen reduction potential and dissolved oxygen values than wetland fed at 8.75 cm/d, indicative of the occurrence of less aerobic and reductive conditions in the bed. The reoxygenation capability of the wetland units was found to be heavily affected by the dosing frequency especially under high hydraulic load (17.5 cm/d). NH3-N degradation was found to decrease with statistical importance when the wetland was flushed two times more frequently with smaller batches of influent. The number of hydraulic load fractionings did not seem to affect the level of treatments of OM and ammonia for both the wetlands fed under the lower HLR of 8.75 cm/d. Prediction of hydraulic limits and management of the feeding strategies are important in the vertical type of engineered wetlands to guarantee the treatment performance and minimize the chances of filter clogging.

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