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A new patented constructed wetlands treatment technology has been patented by Tennessee Valley Authority with the claim is that it increases the nitrogen removal processes for wastewater treatment. This new treatment is known as a reciprocating flow constructed wetland (RCW). This study compares the performance of a reciprocating wetland system to subsurface gravity flow wetlands in the same area of the country for nitrogen reduction to verify the claims. Average ammonia reductions in the reciprocating systems were found to be almost double the gravity flow systems. Through two different statistical analyses, it was found that the reciprocation does have a significant effect on ammonia reduction in these systems. However nitrate concentrations may increase due to nitrification and, thus the claim of increased denitrification was not proven. These systems are successful in reducing nitrogen concentrations to below on-site effluent limitations in Alabama, but require more understanding of the basic nitrogen transformations taking place.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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