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Use of cattails in treating wastewater from a Pb/Zn mine


This article describes the use of a combined treatment system, which includes an aquatic treatment pond withTypha latifolia Linn. (Typhaceae) as the dominant species and a stabilization pond, to treat the wastewater from a Pn/Zn mine at Shaoguan, Guangdong Province, China.

In 1983, it was noted thatT. latifolia bloomed in areas affected by the wastewater emitted from the mine, hence a combined purification system was subsequently built.

The influent contained high levels of total suspended solids (4635 mg/liter), chemical oxygen demand (14.5 mg/liter) as well as Pb (1.6 mg/liter) and Zn (1.9 mg/liter). The results of the effluent after treatment showed that the total suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand, Pb, and Zn had been reduced by 99%, 55%, 95%, and 80% respectively. The results of plant tissue analysis indicled thatT. latifolia assimilated significant amounts of Pb and Zn, especially in the root portion.

During 1986 several species of algae and fish were present in the pond, usually with a higher density in areas containing lower metal concentrations in the water.

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Paper was presented in part at the conference “The Use of Constructed Wetlands in Water Pollution Control” held 24–28 September 1990, Cambridge, UK.

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Lan, C., Chen, G., Li, L. et al. Use of cattails in treating wastewater from a Pb/Zn mine. Environmental Management 16, 75–80 (1992).

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Key words

  • Pb/Zn mine waslewater
  • Treatment
  • Hydrophytes
  • China