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Pilot-Scale Constructed Wetlands for Petroleum-Contaminated Groundwater

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A pilot study was conducted to determine the feasibility of using constructed treatment wetlands to remediate recovered groundwater from the subsurface of a former refinery site. The pilot system consisted of four subsurface flow treatment cells operated in an upward vertical flow mode and equipped with subsurface aeration lines. The treatment system showed minimal capability for methyl-tert-butyl ether removal, but did effectively remove total petroleum hydrocarbons-deisel range organics and total benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and o-, m-, and p-xylenes (total BTEX). Effluent benzene concentrations were less than 0.05 mg/L in 70% of the samples from a treatment cell using subsurface aeration and a wetland sod amendment. Based on 1 year of operating data, cumulative mass removal approached 80% for benzene and 88% for total BTEX.

Keywords: constructed wetlands; petroleum industry wastewaters; subsurface flow wetland; volatile organic compounds

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2007

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  • 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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