• The effects of plants(Typha Latifolia)and root-bed medium on the treatment of domestic sewage within a vertical flow constructed wetland /

      Rozema, Lloyd R.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2000-07-14)
      The effect that plants {Typha latifolia) as well as root-bed medium physical and chemical characteristics have on the treatment of primary treated domestic wastewater within a vertical flow constructed wetland system was investigated. Five sets of cells, with two cells in each set, were used. Each cell was made of concrete and measured 1 .0 m X 1 .0 m and was 1.3 m deep. Four different root-bed media were tested : Queenston Shale, Fonthill Sand, Niagara Shale and a Michigan Sand. Four of the sets contained plants and a single type of root-bed medium. The influence of plants was tested by operating a Queenston Shale set without plants. Due to budget constraints no replicates were constructed. All of the sets were operated independently and identically for twenty-eight months. Twelve months of data are presented here, collected after 16 months of continuous operation. Root-bed medium type did not influence BOD5 removal. All of the sets consistently met Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) requirements (<25 mg/L) for BOD5 throughout the year. The 12 month average BOD5 concentration from all sets with plants was below 2.36 mg/L. All of the sets were within MOE discharge requirements (< 25 mg/L) for suspended solids with set effluent concentrations ranging from 1.53 to 14.80 mg/L. The Queenston Shale and Fonthill Sand media removed the most suspended solids while the Niagara Shale set produced suspended solids. The set containing Fonthill Sand was the only series to meet MOE discharge requirements (< Img/L) for total phosphorus year-round with a twelve month mean effluent concentration of 0.23 mg/L. Year-round all of the root-bed media were well below MOE discharge requirements (< 20mg/L in winter and < 10 mg/L in sumnner) for ammonium. The Queenston Shale and Fonthill Sand sets removed the most total nitrogen. Plants had no effect on total nitrogen removal, but did influence how nitrogen was cycled within the system. Plants increased the removal of suspended solids by 14%, BOD5 by 10% and total phosphorus by 22%. Plants also increased the amount of dissolved oxygen that entered the system. During the plant growing season removal of total phosphorus was better in all sets with plants regardless of media type. The sets containing Queenston Shale and Fonthill Sand media achieved the best results and plants in the Queenston Shale set increased treatment efficiency for every parameter except nitrogen. Vertical flow wetland sewage treatment systems can be designed and built to consistently meet MOE discharge requirements year-round for BOD5, suspended solids, total phosphorus and ammonium. This system Is generally superior to the free water systems and sub-surface horizontal flow systems in cold climate situations.