Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the phytotoxicity of wastewater treated with horizontal subsurface flow (HSSF) constructed wetlands (CWs) and activated sludge (AS) system using disinfection treatment such chlorination and ultraviolet (UV) system. To assess the impact of the reuse of different effluents (HSSF-Cl, HSSF-UV, AS-Cl and AS-UV), bioassays using seeds of Raphanus sativus (R. sativus) and Triticum aestivum (T. aestivum), were performed on both Petri dishes and soil. Different treated wastewater concentrations were varied (6.25%, 12.5%, 25%, 50% and 100%) and the percentage of germination inhibition (PGI), percentage of epicotyl elongation (PEE) and germination index (GI) were determined. Positive effects (PGI and PEE <0% and GI >80%) of HSSF-Cl, HSSF-UV, AS-Cl and AS-UV effluents on germination and epicotyl elongation of R. sativus and T. aestivum were observed in Petri dishes bioassays. However, toxic effects of HSSF-Cl, HSSF-UV and AS-Cl on seeds germination and epicotyl elongation of both plant species were detected in soil samples (PGI and PEE >0% and GI <80%). Only R. sativus seeds to be irrigated with AS-UV achieved GI values above 86% for all concentrations evaluated. These results indicated that AS-UV effluent had a positive effect on seeds germination and can be recommended for treated wastewater reuse in agricultural irrigation.

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