, Volume 792, Issue 1, pp 105–120 | Cite as

Influence of operational parameters on nutrient removal from eutrophic water in a constructed wetland

  • Núria OliverEmail author
  • Miguel Martín
  • Sara Gargallo
  • Carmen Hernández-CrespoEmail author
Primary Research Paper


The present study offers several management strategies in order to improve the performance of a free water surface constructed wetland that treats mainly eutrophic water and which is also designed to improve and increase the biodiversity of habitat and wildlife. To attain these goals, it has been necessary to analyze the influence of certain operational parameters and environmental factors on the mass removal rates (MRRs) and the mass removal efficiencies (MREs), depending on if the objective is to maximize nutrient removal or to achieve low effluent concentrations. The system, referred to as FG, operated in a range of hydraulic loading rates (HLRs) from 7 to 58 m year−1 and removed phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) at an average rate of 7.15 g P m−2 year−1 and 60.07 g N m−2 year−1. P and N removal varied seasonally, mainly due to input concentrations (C in), but inlet mass loading and HLRs also strongly influenced MRRs. Based on these results, we propose to maintain a mean HLR of 58 m year−1 in winter and 25 m year−1 in summer to increase annual nutrient removal and thereby barely affecting pumping costs.


Free water surface constructed wetland Eutrophication Hydraulic and nutrient loading Nutrient removal Albufera de València Lake 



Free water surface constructed wetlands


The FWSCW studied


Mass removal rates


Mass removal efficiencies


Hydraulic loading rates






Input concentrations


Inlet mass loading

AV Lake

l’Albufera de València Lake


l’Albufera de València Natural Park


Constructed wetlands


Barranco del Poyo


Dissolved inorganic nitrogen




Non-orthophosphate phosphorus


Dissolved oxygen



Núria Oliver acknowledges the scholarship provided by the Generalitat Valenciana, Spain (VALi + D PhD Program). The authors are also grateful to the Confederación Hidrográfica del Jucar (CHJ, MMARM) for the financial support of the project.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

This manuscript has been prepared according to the ethical rules of Hydrobiologia and it has not been submitted to other journals.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Ingeniería del Agua y Medio AmbienteUniversidad Politécnica de ValenciaValenciaSpain

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