In developing countries located in tropical and subtropical regions, the use of ornamental plant species in constructed wetlands (CWs) could add benefits to the treatment of wastewater. This paper presents a study on the efficiency of using plants of economic importance in South Mexico (Heliconia stricta, Heliconia psittacorum and Alpinia purpurata) within an anaerobic digester horizontal subsurface CW system for treating domestic wastewater. The CW with H. psittacorum showed the highest level of removal of biochemical oxygen demand (48%), chemical oxygen demand (64%), total phosphorus (39%) and total nitrogen (39%). This species and H. stricta (which showed slightly lower percentages of removal) may be a viable alternative to using macrophytes in CW in tropical areas such as Chiapas, Mexico.

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