This paper presents the purification performance of 20 wastewater treatment plants with vertical reed bed filters (Macrophyltres®), built between 1998 and 2003 by SAS Voisin, for communities of between 150 and 1400 PE. The first stage vertical reed bed (directly fed with raw wastewater by intermittent feeding) achieved high removal of SS, BOD and COD (mean respectively 96%, 98%, 92%). The second stage permitted compliance easily with effluent standards (SS < 15 mg/l, BOD < 15 mg/l, COD < 90 mg/l and mean TKN < 10 mg/l). Performance was not significantly influenced by variations of organic and hydraulic load, nor by seasonal variations. Rigorous operation and maintenance were required to obtain optimal performances. Another application of vertical reed beds is the treatment of septage (sludge from individual septic tanks). The results obtained on two sites operating for 2 and 3 years are presented. The first site achieved complete treatment of septage (solid and liquid fraction), the second permitted a pre-treatment for co-treatment of percolate with wastewater.

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