Vertically constructed wetlands for greywater reuse: Performance analysis of plants

Siriwardhana, Kushan D., Miguntanna, Nandika, Jayaneththi, Dimantha I., Kantamaneni, Komali orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3852-4374 and Rathnayake, Upaka (2023) Vertically constructed wetlands for greywater reuse: Performance analysis of plants. Environmental Nanotechnology, Monitoring & Management, 20 .

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Vertical Flow constructed wetlands (VFCWs) are environmentally feasible engineered systems that mimic the functions of natural wetlands. They are alternative engineering systems that are economical, and simple in structure with reduced land area compared to Horizontal Flow Constructed Wetlands (HFCW). Thus provides a sustainable solution for greywater treatment to a considerable extent. However, VFCWs feasibility and plant performance were not tested in the context of Sri Lanka for the greywater treatment. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential of household greywater treatment using a pilot-scale VFCW and examine the performance characteristics of different types of plants. Three types of plants, the Canna plant (Canna indica), Ferns plant (Matteuccia struthiopteris), and Cattail plant (Typha latifolia) were used as emergent plants and a retention tank was constructed to retain solid particles in the greywater as primary treatment. The experiments were carried out for two months using a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) for three replicates. The quality of the influent and effluent was tested fortnight for a number of water quality parameters. Results revealed that the removal efficiency of contaminants was increased. Cattail plants showed higher removal efficiency for dissolved oxygen (DO), chemical oxygen demand (COD), nitrates (NO31-), turbidity, and electrical conductivity. In addition, Canna plants had higher efficiencies for the removal of total dissolved solids (TDS) and phosphates (PO43-). Furthermore, Ferns plants presented higher efficiency only for removing sulphate (SO43-). Conclusively, Cattail plants presented the overall best performance in treating greywater. This can be attributed to the ability of the Cattail's dense fibrous root system to absorb more contaminants from greywater. This research also discussed the importance of microplastic analysis in greywater treatment which is a vital part of the current day research. The results of this study will be helpful to the further advanced research. Furthermore, this methodology can be implemented to other similar plants across the globe irrespective of geographical area.

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