Nitrogen (N) transformations and removal in integrated constructed wetlands (ICWs) are often high, but the contributions of various pathways, including nitrification/denitrification, assimilation by plants and sediment storage, remain unclear. This study quantified the contributions of different N removal pathways in a typical multi-celled ICW system treating domestic wastewater. Findings showed near complete average total N retention of circa 95% at 102.3 g m−2 yr−1 during the 4-year period of operation. Variations in total N and NH4–N removal rates were associated with effluent flow volume rates and seasons. According to the mass balance estimation, assimilation by plants and sediment/soil storage accounted for approximately 23% and 20%, respectively, of the total N load removal. These were the major N removal route besides microbial transformations. Thus, the combination of plants with high biomass production offer valuable opportunities for improving ICW performance. The retrieval and use of sequestered N in the ICW sediment/soils require coherent management and provide innovative and valuable opportunities.
Nitrogen transformations and mass balance in an integrated constructed wetland treating domestic wastewater
Mawuli Dzakpasu, Miklas Scholz, Valerie McCarthy, Siobhán Jordan; Nitrogen transformations and mass balance in an integrated constructed wetland treating domestic wastewater. Water Sci Technol 1 November 2014; 70 (9): 1496–1502. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2014.402
Download citation file: