Investigations into phosphorus removal by constructed wetlands : root bed media modifications /
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A study has been conducted focusing on how the phosphorus renrx)val efficiency of a constructed wetland (CW) can be optimized through the selective enrichment of the substratum. Activated alumina and powdered iron were examined as possible enrichment compounds. Using packed glass column trials it was found that alumina was not suitable for the renx)val of ortho-phosphate from solution, while mixtures of powdered iron and quartz sand proved to be very efficient. The evaluation of iron/sand mixtures in CWs planted with cattails was performed in three stages; first using an indoor lab scale wetland, then an outdoor lab scale wetland, and finally in a small scale pilot project. For the lab scale tests, three basic configurations were evaluated: using the iron/sand as a pre-filter, in the root bed. and as a post filter. Primary lagoon effluent was applied to the test cells to simulate actual CW conditions, and the total phosphorus and iron concentrations of the influent and effluent were nfK)nitored. The pilot scale trials were limited to using only a post filter design, due to in-progress research at the pilot site. The lab scale tests achieved average renrK>val efficiencies greater than 91% for all indoor configurations, and greater than 97% for all outdoor configurations. The pilot scale tests had an average renK)val efficiency of 60%. This relatively low efficiency in the pilot scale can be attributed to the post filters being only one tenth the size of the lab scale test in terms of hydraulic loading (6 cm/day vs. 60 cm/day).