Abstract

The potential growth of buffalo grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) and couch grass (Cynodon dactylon) on artificial floating islands (AFIs) and their ability to remove total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) from a simulated paper mill wastewater was studied. This was done to assess the potential of AFIs for removal of nutrients from aerated stabilization basins (ASBs) that had occasional growth of blue-green algae (BGA) to bloom levels. Small scale AFIs were prepared using polyethylene foam and planted with the grasses in 30 L of tested water. Trials were conducted in a plastic covered greenhouse over a three-month period where temperatures ranged from 15 to 44 °C. The results showed that both buffalo and couch grasses can adapt to planting in AFIs showing increases of 125% and 148% in wet weight, respectively. Nutrient uptake by buffalo grass and couch grass were found to be similar. Percentage uptakes of TP and TN from the synthetic water by the buffalo grass were 82% and 47%, whereas by couch grass, uptakes were 83% and 45%, respectively.

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