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Water 2012, 4(1), 260-271; doi:10.3390/w4010260
Article

Treatment of Olive Mill Wastewater with Constructed Wetlands

1,2,* , 3
,
4
 and
1
1 Institute of Iraklio, National Agricultural Research Foundation, P.O. Box 2229, Iraklio 71307, Greece 2 Kapellakis Technical and Real Estate Firm, Venerato Palianis, 70011, Greece 3 Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania 73132, Greece 4 Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi 67100, Greece
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2012 / Accepted: 17 February 2012 / Published: 12 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Recycling and Reuse)
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the application of constructed wetlands as a mean to manage olive mill wastewater (OMW). Two free water surface (FWS) constructed wetlands, one without (CW1) and one with effluent recirculation (CW2), were operated for a two-year period with diluted OMW (1:10) and evaluated in terms of the removal of COD, TSS, TKN, NH4+-N, NO3-N, TP and total phenols. The organic loading rate of CWs was adjusted to 925 kg BOD/ha·d. In CW1 the removal efficiency averaged 80%, 83%, 78%, 80%, and 74% for COD, TSS, TKN, TP, and total phenols, respectively, during the operation period. Effluent recirculation further improved the treatment efficiency which approached 90%, 98%, 87%, 85%, and 87% for COD, TSS, TKN, TP, and total phenols, respectively. Constructed wetlands also showed high removal efficiency for NH4+-N. Nitrate concentration maintained low in both CWs basins, probably due to the prevalence of high denitrification rates that efficiently removed the NO3--N produced by NH4+-N oxidation. Despite the increased removal percentages, pollutant concentration in effluent exceeded the allowable limits for discharge in water bodies, suggesting that additional practices, including enhanced pre-application treatment and/or higher dilution rates, are required to make this practice effective for OMW management.
Keywords: effluent recirculation; free water surface constructed wetlands; nutrient removal; olive mill wastewater; organic load removal; phenols effluent recirculation; free water surface constructed wetlands; nutrient removal; olive mill wastewater; organic load removal; phenols
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kapellakis, I.E.; Paranychianakis, N.V.; Tsagarakis, K.P.; Angelakis, A.N. Treatment of Olive Mill Wastewater with Constructed Wetlands. Water 2012, 4, 260-271.

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