Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 30, pp 23803–23814 | Cite as

Composting plant leachate treatment by a pilot-scale, three-stage, horizontal flow constructed wetland in central Iran

Research Article


Handling and treatment of composting leachate is difficult and poses major burdens on composting facilities. The main goal of this study was to evaluate usage of a three-stage, constructed wetland to treat leachate produced in Isfahan composting facility. A pilot-scale, three-stage, subsurface, horizontal flow constructed wetland, planted with vetiver with a flow rate of 24 L/day and a 15-day hydraulic retention time, was used. Removal of organic matter, ammonia, nitrate, total nitrogen, suspended solids, and several heavy metals from Isfahan composting facility leachate was monitored over a 3-month period. Constructed wetland system was capable of efficiently removing BOD5 (87.3%), COD (74.5%), ammonia (91.5%), nitrate (87.9%), total nitrogen (87.8%), total suspended solids (85.5%), and heavy metals (ranging from 70 to 90%) from the composting leachate. High contaminant removal efficiencies were achieved, but effluent still failed to meet Iranian standards for treated wastewater. This study shows that although a three-stage horizontal flow constructed wetland planted with vetiver cannot be used alone to treat Isfahan composting facility leachate, but it has the potential to be used as a leachate pre-treatment step, along with another complementary method.


Composting leachate Horizontal flow constructed wetland Leachate treatment Multi-stage constructed wetland High-strength leachate 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reza Bakhshoodeh
    • 1
  • Nadali Alavi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pooya Paydary
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Water Science Engineering, School of Environmental EngineeringAhvaz Chamran UniversityAhvazIran
  2. 2.Environmental and Occupational Hazards Control Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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