Removal of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes in rural wastewater by an integrated constructed wetland
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Integrated constructed wetlands (ICWs) are regarded as one of the most important removal technology for pollutants in rural domestic wastewaters. This study investigated the efficiency of an ICW consisting of a regulating pool, four surface and subsurface flow-constructed wetlands, and a stabilization unit for removing antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) from rural domestic wastewaters. The results showed that antibiotics leucomycin, ofloxacin, lincomycin, and sulfamethazine, and ARGs sul1, sul2, tetM, and tetO were the predominant antibiotics and ARGs in the influent, respectively. The ICW system could significantly reduce most of the detected antibiotics and ARGs with their aqueous removal rates of 78 to 100 % and >99 %, respectively. Based on the measured concentrations, the total pollution loadings of antibiotics were 3,479 μg/day in the influent and 199 μg/day in the final effluent. Therefore, constructed wetlands could be a promising technology for rural wastewater in removing contaminants such as antibiotics and ARGs.
KeywordsAntibiotics Antibiotic resistance genes Integrated constructed wetland Rural domestic wastewater Removal
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from the CAS Key Project (KZZD-EW-09), Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP 201309031), and Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC U113305 and 41303077).
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