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Constructed Wetland for Treating Effluent from Subtropical Aquaculture Farm

Abstract

A free water surface flow constructed wetland (CW) was designed to evaluate the capacity of this biological treatment system, which receives wastewater from aquaculture and upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors, to retain heavy metal. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of the sediment and the macrophytes Cyperus giganteus, Typha domingensis, Eichhornia crassipes, and Pontederia cordata in accumulating Al, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Mn, Pb, and Zn, during the dry (winter) and rainy (summer) seasons. In general, the concentrations and mass loading of heavy metals in the outlet water were lower than in the inlet water. The highest removal efficiency rates of water (mainly mass removal) occurred in the dry season. In the rainy season, the probable low oxygen level in the upper layer of sediment resulted in a release of reduced metals into the water because of organic matter mineralization and an increase in depth. This, coupled with an increase in the hydraulic loading rate (HLR), affected the efficiency removal in this season. The metals were especially immobilized as a result of the sedimentation process and could be removed weakly via macrophyte uptake, with the exception of Mn. In addition to the sediment, which is the main compartment for heavy metal retention in the CW system, the macrophytes have the advantage of being harvested. Therefore, E. crassipes and T. domingensis, which are good metal accumulators, can be recommended for the removal of heavy metals from agricultural wastewaters.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP) for the scholarship to the first author (2008/56621-5) and financial support (2010/50478-6). In addition, the authors thank Lilian Rodrigues Rosa of University of São Paulo for help in heavy metal analysis. We would also like to thank the working group of Limnology and Plankton Production Laboratory of Aquaculture Center and Marcio Jesus Gonçalves and Mauro Marcelino for technical assistance. We are also grateful to anonymous reviewers for their comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Fernanda Travaini-Lima.

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Travaini-Lima, F., da Veiga, M.A.M.S. & Sipaúba-Tavares, L.H. Constructed Wetland for Treating Effluent from Subtropical Aquaculture Farm. Water Air Soil Pollut 226, 42 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-015-2322-9

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Keywords

  • Trace metals
  • Bioaccumulation factor
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Removal efficiency