In this study, the potential of floating treatment wetlands (FTWs), inoculated with selected bacteria, to ameliorate the polluted river water was evaluated. Floating cells were prepared by vegetating plants, Typha domingensis and Leptochloa fusca, on a floating mat. The plants were inoculated with three different pollutant-degrading rhizospheric and endophytic bacterial strains. A significant more decrease in chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) and total organic carbon (TOC) was observed in inoculated FTWs than that the wetlands without bacterial inoculation. However, a slight decrease in pH and EC was seen in most of the treatments. The total nitrogen (TN), nitrate and total phosphorus (TP) contents decreased to 1.77 mg/L, 0.80 mg/L and 0.60 mg/L, respectively. Additionally, the concentration of iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), manganese (Mn), lead (Pb), and chromium (Cr) in water lowered to 0.41, 0.16, 0.10, 0.25, and 0.08 mg/L, respectively. Overall the performance of T. domingensis was significantly better than L. fusca. The treated effluents meet the water quality guidelines for irrigation and aquatic life. This study revealed that the FTWs supplemented with selective bacteria is a promising approach for the restoration and management of polluted river water.

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