Author(s): Yeh TY, Pan CT, Ke TY, Kuo TW
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Abstract This study investigated organic matter and nitrogen reduction and transformation mechanisms within a field-scale hybrid natural purification system. The system included an oxidation pond, two serial surface-flow wetlands with a cascade in between, and a subsurface-flow wetland receiving secondary treated dormitory sewage. The average biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal was 81 and 48\%, respectively. Microbial degradation was the primary process contributing to organic reduction. Total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) and ammonium decreased from 7.1 to 3.9 and 5.58 to 3.25 mg/L, respectively, within the surface-flow wetlands. The results indicated that nitrification occurred within the aerobic compartments. The nitrate levels continued to decrease from 1.26 to 1.07 mg/L, indicating nitrate reduction occurred in the surface-flow wetland. Total nitrogen decreased from 8.61 to 5.12 mg/L, equivalent to a 41\% reduction, within the surface-flow wetlands. Results revealed that denitrification might concurrently occur in the compartment of surface-flow wetland. Total nitrogen continued to decrease from 5.12 to 3.99 mg/L within the anoxic subsurface-flow wetlands through denitrification transformation. The significant total nitrogen reduction observed was 65\%. The predominant reduction of total nitrogen might take place within the sediment of surface flow and the subsurface-flow wetland where denitrification occurred. The microbial identification results also indicated that nitrification/denitrification might occur concurrently within the sediments of surface-flow wetlands. The results of this study show that hybrid wetland systems are a viable option for organic matter and nitrogen transformation and removal in tropical regions where tertiary wastewater systems are too costly or unable to operate. Treated water from these systems can comply with local surface water criteria rendering water for reuse and groundwater recharge.
This article was published in Water Environ Res
and referenced in Biochemistry & Pharmacology: Open Access