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Use of Naturally Growing Aquatic Plants for Wastewater Purification

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Abstract:

This paper examines potential uses of n aturally growing aquatic plants for wastewater purification. These plants enhance the removal of pollutants by consuming part of them in the form of plant nutrients. This applies to urban and agricultural wastewater, in particular, where treatment units of different sizes can be applied at the pollution source. The effectiveness of wastewater purification by different plants was tested on laboratory and pilot scales. The growth rate of the plants was related to the wastewater content in the water. Batch and semicontinuous experiments verified that theplants are capable of decreasing all tested indicators for water quality to levels that permit the use of the purified water for irrigation. This applies to biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, pH, and turbidity. In specific cases, the turbidity reached the level of drinking water. Comparison of BOD concentrations with typical levels in water treatment facilities across the country indicates the effectiveness of water purification with plants. A major effect of treatment with plants was elimination of the disturbing smell from the wastewater. It is shown that mixtures of wastewater and polluted water from the Kishon River are amenable in varying degrees to treatment by the plants. The higher the wastewater content in the mixture, the more effective the treatment by the plants. In this context, a scheme for rehabilitation and restoration of the Kishon River is presented and technical and economical aspects of the purification technology are considered.

Keywords: AGRICULTURAL POLLUTION; NATURAL TREATMENT; URBAN POLLUTION; WASTEWATER TREATMENT; WATER PLANTS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/106143004X141762

Publication date: 2004-05-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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