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Plants for Constructed Wetlands as an Ecological Engineering Alternative to Road Runoff Desalination

  • Ana de Santiago-Martín
  • Gaëlle Guesdon
  • Rosa Galvez
Chapter

Abstract

De-icing salt and snow pollution in urban and road areas is a growing threat seriously menacing the ecosystem goods and services provided by soils, rivers, wetlands, and lakes in the world. Up to 90 % of de-icing salt used for winter road maintenance (salt spreading and storage sites) can be transported, together with co-pollutants, e.g. metals, from tens to hundreds of metres from roads reaching soils, and both surface and ground water. Within ecological engineering, there are several strategies to reduce the impact of road de-icing salts once they are in the environment. Among them, constructed wetlands (CWs) have proved to be techno-economically feasible, energy efficient, and a green strategy. This chapter provides extensive information on the use of macrophytes in CWs for de-icing salt removal and presents: (a) an overview of phytoremediation in CWs and a summary of the full-scale facilities specifically conducted to road runoff treatment; (b) a compendium of studies focused on salt removal with macrophytes in greenhouses and those aimed at assessing macrophyte response to salinity in combination with other stressors (waterlogging, water depth, storm events, temperature, competitive interactions, nutrients, pollutants, and so on); and (c) a case study on treatment of runoff from an urban snow disposal site with Scirpus maritimus and Spartina pectinata.

Keywords

De-icing salts Road runoff water Snow disposal site Phytoremediation Macrophytes Constructed wetland Ecological engineering 

Abbreviations

ABA

Abscisic acid

ANOVA

One-way analysis of variance

BOD

Biochemical oxygen demand

chl

Chlorophyll

COD

Chemical oxygen demand

CW

Constructed wetland

DO

Dissolved oxygen

EC

Electrical conductivity

FB

Filter bed

FEAS

Flame emission atomic spectroscopy

HPLC

High performance liquid chromatography

NRE

Negative removal efficiency

OASTL

O-acetylserine (thiol) lyase activity

OM

Organic matter

PAHs

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

PCBs

Polychlorinated biphenyls

ppt

Parts per thousand (‰)

SLA

Specific leaf area

SRP

Soluble reactive phosphorus

SS

Suspended solids

TI

Tolerance index

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research work and field experiments were supported by several funding agencies and organisms: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Fonds de recherche du Québec—Nature et technologies (FRQNT), Ministry of Transport of Québec (MTQ), City of Québec, City of Saint-Augustin de Desmaures, and City of Gatineau. The authors would like to thank Dr. Ansari for the invitation to write this chapter. We especially wish to thank Tania Patricia Santiago Badillo for her assistance with the literature search and Simon Plourde for his laboratory assistance.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana de Santiago-Martín
    • 1
  • Gaëlle Guesdon
    • 1
  • Rosa Galvez
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de Génie civil et Génie des eauxUniversité Laval, Pavillon Adrien-PouliotQuébecCanada

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