Three common Appalachian plant species (Juncus effusus L., Scirpus validus L., and Typha latifolia L.) were planted into small-scale constructed wetlands receivingprimary treated wastewater. The experimental design includedtwo wetland gravel depths (45 and 60 cm) and five plantingtreatments (each species in monoculture, an equal mixture of the three species, and controls without vegetation), with two replicates per depth × planting combination. Inflow rates (19 L day-1) and frequency (3 times day-1) were designed to simulate full-scale constructed wetlands as currently used for domestic wastewater treatmentin West Virginia. Influent wastewater and the effluent from each wetland were sampled monthly for ten physical, chemical and biological parameters, and plant demographic measurements were made. After passing through these trough wetlands, the average of all treatments showed a 70% reduction in total suspended solids (TSS) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), 50 to 60% reduction in nitrogen (TKN), ammonia and phosphate, anda reduction of fecal coliforms by three orders of magnitude. Depth of gravel (45 or 60 cm) had little effect on wetland treatment ability, but did influence Typha and Scirpus growth patterns. Gravel alone provided significant wastewater treatment, but vegetation further improved many treatment efficiencies. Typha significantly out-performedJuncus and Scirpus both in growth and in effluent quality improvement. There was also some evidence that the species mixture out-performed species monocultures.Typhawas the superior competitor in mixtures, but a decline in Typha growth with distance from the influent pipe suggested that nutrients became limiting or toxicities may have developed.
This is a preview of subscription content,to check access.
Access this article
APHA (American Public Health Association): 1992, Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 18th ed., American Public Health Association Inc., New York, N.Y.
Armstrong, W.: 1964, Nature 204 801.
Armstrong, W.: 1967a, Physiologia Plantarum 20, 540.
Armstrong, W.: 1967b, Physiologia Plantarum 20, 920.
Bastian, R. K. and Hammer, D. A.: 1993. ‘The Use of Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment and Recycling’, in G. Moshiri (ed.), Constructed Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Bremmer, J. M. and Mulvaney, C. S.: 1982, ‘Nitrogen-Total’, in A. S. Page, R. H. Miller and D. R. Keeney (eds.), Method of Soil Analysis, part 2, Am. Soc. Agron., Madison, WI, pp. 595–624.
Brix, H.: 1994, Wat. Sci. Tech. 29, 71.
Brix, H.: 1997, Wat. Sci. Tech. 35(5), 11.
Crites, R. W.: 1994, Wat. Sci. Tech. 29, 1.
Edwards, M. E., Brinkmann, K. C. and Watson, J. T.: 1993, ‘Growth of Soft-Stem Bulrush (Scirpus validus) in a Gravel-Based Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands’, in K. G. Moshiri (ed.), Constructed Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Flessa, H. and Fischer, W. R.: 1992, Plant and Soil 143, 55.
Gersberg, R. M., Elkins, B. V., Lyon, S. R. and Goldman, C. R.: 1984, Water Res. 20, 363.
Good, B. S. and Patrick Jr., W. H.: 1987, ‘Root-Water-Sediment Interface Processes’, in K. R. Reddy and W. H. Smith, (eds.), Aquatic Plants for Water Treatment and Resource Recovery, Magnolia Pub., Orlando, FL, pp. 359–371.
Grosse, W. H., Buchel, B. and Tiebel, H.: 1991, Aquatic Botany 38, 89.
Guntenspergen, G. R., Stearns, F. and Kadlec, J. A.: 1989, ‘Wetland Vegetation’, in D. A. Hammer (ed.), Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment, Lewis Publ., Chelsea, MI, pp. 73–88.
Hammer, D. A. (ed.): 1989, Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment: Municipal, Industrial and Agricultural, Lewis Publishers Inc., Chelsea, 831 pp.
Hiley, P. D.: 1995, Wat. Sci. Tech. 32(3), 329.
Jaynes, M. L. and Carpenter, C. R.: 1986, Ecology 67, 875.
Jenssen, P. D., Maehlum, T. and Krogstad, T.: 1993, Wat. Sci. Tech. 28, 149.
JMP: 1994, Statistical Software for the Apple Macintosh, version 3.0.1. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC.
Kadlec, R. H. and Knight, R. L.: 1995, Treatment Wetlands, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL. 893 pp.
Kadlec, R. H. and Watson, J. T.: 1993, ‘Hydraulics and Solids Accumulation in a Gravel Bed Treatment Wetland’, in G. Moshiri (ed.), Constructed Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Knight, R. L.: 1993, Tappi Journal 76, 109.
Knight, R. L., Ruble, R. W. Kadlec, R. H. and Reed, S.: 1993, ‘Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment: Performance Database’, in G. Moshiri (ed.), Constructed Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Maehlum, T., Jenssen, P. D. and Warner, W. S.: 1995. Wat. Sci. Tech. 32, 95.
McGraw, J. B. and Garbutt, K.: 1990. Ecology 71(3), 1199.
Moore, B. C., Lafer, J. E. and Funk, W. H.: 1994, Aquatic Botany 49, 137.
Moshiri, G.: 1993, Constructed Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 632 pp.
Reddy, K. R. and Smith, W. H. (eds.): 1987, Aquatic Plants for Water Treatment and Resource Recovery, Magnolia Pub., Orlando, FL.
Reddy, K. R., D'Angelo, E. M. and DeBusk, T. A.: 1989, J. Environ. Qual. 19, 261.
Reed, S. C. and Bron, D. S.: 1992, Wat. Environmental Research 64, 776.
Reed, S. C., Crites, R. W. and Middlebrooks, E. J.: 1995, Natural Systems for Waste Management and Treatment, McGraw-Hill Inc., New York, 308 pp.
Steinberg, S. L. and Coonrod, H. S.: 1994, J. Environ. Qual. 23, 907.
Steiner, G. R. and Combs, D. W.: 1993, ‘Small Constructed Wetlands for Domestic Wastewater Treatment and Their Performance’, in G. Moshiri (ed.), Constructed Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Tanner, C. C. and Sukias, J. P.: 1995, Wat. Sci. Tech. 32, 229.
Tanner, C. C., Clayton, J. P. and Upsdell, M. P.: 1995, Wat. Res. Tech. 29, 27.
Taylor, S. W., Milly, P. C. D. and Jaffy, P. R.: 1990, Water Resources Research 29, 27.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: 1977, Alternatives for Small Wastewater Treatment Systems, USEPA Rep. 625/4–77–011. USEPA, Washington, DC.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: 1988, Constructed Wetlands and Aquatic Plant Systems for Municipal Wastewater Treatment, EPA/625/1–88/022. Center for Environmental Research Information, Cincinnati, OH.
Wetzel, R. G.: 1993, ‘ConstructedWetlands: Scientific Foundations Are Critical’, in G. Moshiri (ed.), Constructed Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Wium-Andersen, S. and Andersen, J. M.: 1972, Limnol. Oceanogr. 17, 948.
About this article
Cite this article
Coleman, J., Hench, K., Garbutt, K. et al. Treatment of Domestic Wastewater by Three Plant Species in Constructed Wetlands. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution 128, 283–295 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010336703606