Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 10990–11001 | Cite as

Evaluation of the treatment performance and microbial communities of a combined constructed wetland used to treat industrial park wastewater

  • Ming Xu
  • Weijing Liu
  • Chao Li
  • Chun Xiao
  • Lili Ding
  • Ke Xu
  • Jinju Geng
  • Hongqiang RenEmail author
Research Article


Constructed wetlands are ecosystems that use plants and microorganisms to remediate pollution in soil and water. In this study, two parallel pilot-scale vertical flow wetland and horizontal flow wetland (VF-HF) systems were implemented to investigate the treatment performance and microorganism community structure in the secondary effluent of an industrial park wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) with a loading rate of 100 mm/day near the Yangtze River in Suzhou City, East China. Removal efficiencies of 82.3, 69.8, 77.8, and 32.3 were achieved by the VF-HF systems for ammonium nitrogen (NH4 +-N), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and chemical oxygen demand (COD), respectively. The VF system specialized in COD and NH4 +-N removal (73.6 and 79.2 %), whereas the HF system mainly contributed to TN removal (63.5 %). The effluents in all seasons are capable of achieving the “surface water environmental quality standard” (GB3838-2002) grade IV. In the VF system, the 16S gene and nirK gene were significantly correlated with depth, with the 16S gene showing significant correlations with the dissolved oxygen (DO) level (r = 0.954, p < 0.05), which was determined by real-time PCR and high-throughput sequencing. Many types of bacteria capable of biodegradation, including nitrifiers, denitrifiers, and polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) degraders (improvement of the BOD5/COD ratio), were observed, and they contributed to approximately 90 % of the nitrogen removal in the VF-HF system.


Constructed wetlands VF-HF systems Removal efficiency Microbial community Industrial wastewater Nitrogen 



The authors wish to thank the Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Environmental Engineering (Grant No.ZX2014001) and the Advanced Treatment and Reclamation of Eutrophic Pollutants in Park Industrial Wastewater Technology and Demonstration (2012ZX07101-003).

Supplementary material

11356_2016_6181_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.9 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 1911 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming Xu
    • 1
  • Weijing Liu
    • 1
  • Chao Li
    • 1
  • Chun Xiao
    • 1
  • Lili Ding
    • 1
  • Ke Xu
    • 1
  • Jinju Geng
    • 1
  • Hongqiang Ren
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the EnvironmentNanjing UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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