Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 223, Issue 2, pp 549–557 | Cite as

Performance of the Giant Reed (Arundo donax) in Experimental Wetlands Receiving Variable Loads of Industrial Stormwater

  • Shaharah Mohd Idris
  • Paul L. Jones
  • Scott A Salzman
  • Graeme Allinson
Article

Abstract

Two emergent macrophytes, Arundo donax and Phragmites australis, were established in experimental subsurface flow, gravel-based constructed wetlands (CWs) and challenged by untreated stormwater collected from the hard-pan and other surfaces of a dairy processing factory in south-west Victoria, Australia. The hydraulic loading rate was tested at two levels, sequentially, 3.75 and 7.5 cm day−1. Some of the monitored variables were removed more efficiently by the planted beds in comparison to unplanted CWs (biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP); p < 0.007) but there was no significant difference between the A. donax and P. australis CWs in removal of BOD, suspended solids (SS) and TN (p > 0.007) at 3.75 cm day−1 or SS and TN at 7.5 cm day−1. At 3.75 cm day−1, BOD, SS, TN and TP removal in the A. donax and P. australis CWs was 71%, 61%, 78% and 75% and 65%, 60%, 73% and 41%, respectively. Nutrient removal at 7.5 cm day−1 in the A. donax and P. australis beds was 87%, 91%, 84% and 71% and 96%, 94%, 87% and 55%, respectively. As expected, the A. donax CWs produced considerably more biomass (10 ± 1.2 kg wet weight) than the P. australis CWs (2.7 ± 1.2 kg wet weight). This equates to approximately 107 and 36 tonnes ha−1 year−1 biomass (dry weight) for A. donax and P. australis, respectively (assuming 250 days of growing season and single-cut harvest). The performance similarity of the A. donax- and P. australis-planted CWs indicates that either may be used in HSSF wetlands treating dairy factory stormwater, although the planting of A. donax provides additional opportunities for secondary income streams through utilisation of the biomass produced.

Keywords

Arundo donax Phragmites australis Constructed wetlands Nutrient removal Dairy factory stormwater Victoria Australia 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The research was primarily supported by the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund, managed by Sustainability Victoria. Additional support was provided by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI Project# 08160). Special thanks should be expressed to the Department of Public Service, Malaysia, for sponsoring a higher degree research scholarship for SMI. The project team gives its thanks to the staff at Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Co. Ltd, DPI, and Deakin University, who contributed to the success of this project, specifically Alex Dupleix, Maurice King, Trevor Theodoropoulos and the Deakin Water Quality Laboratory.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaharah Mohd Idris
    • 1
  • Paul L. Jones
    • 1
  • Scott A Salzman
    • 2
  • Graeme Allinson
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Life and Environmental SciencesDeakin UniversityWarrnamboolAustralia
  2. 2.School of Information SystemsDeakin UniversityWarrnamboolAustralia
  3. 3.Future Farming Systems Research, Department of Primary IndustriesDPI Queenscliff CentreQueenscliffAustralia

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