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Water 2013, 5(3), 893-916; doi:10.3390/w5030893
Article

A Preliminary Investigation of Wastewater Treatment Efficiency and Economic Cost of Subsurface Flow Oyster-Shell-Bedded Constructed Wetland Systems

1,2
,
1
,
1,2,*  and 1,2
1 Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan 2 Ecological Engineering Research Center, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 April 2013 / Revised: 3 June 2013 / Accepted: 19 June 2013 / Published: 28 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wastewater Treatment and Pollution Control)
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Abstract

We conducted a preliminary investigation of wastewater treatment efficiency and economic cost of the oyster-shell-bedded constructed wetlands (CWs) compared to the conventional gravel-bedded CW based on field monitoring data of water quality and numerical modeling. Four study subsurface (SSF) CWs were built to receive wastewater from Taipei, Taiwan. Among these sites, two are vertical wetlands, filled with bagged- (VA) and scattered- (VB) oyster shells, and the other two horizontal wetlands were filled with scattered-oyster shells (HA) and gravels (HB). The BOD, NO3, DO and SS treatment efficiency of VA and VB were higher than HA and HB. However, VA was determined as the best option of CW design due to its highest cost-effectiveness in term of BOD removal (only 6.56 US$/kg) as compared to VB, HA and HB (10.88–25.01 US$/kg). The results confirmed that oyster shells were an effective adsorption medium in CWs. Hydraulic design and arrangement of oyster shells could be important in determining their treatment efficiency and cost-effectiveness. A dynamic model was developed to simulate substance transmissions in different treatment processes in the CWS using AQUASIM 2.1 based on the water quality data. Feasible ranges of biomedical parameters involved were determined for characterizing the importance of different biochemical treatment processes in SSF CWs. Future work will involve extending the experimental period to confirm the treatment efficiency of the oyster-shell-bedded CW systems in long-term operation and provide more field data for the simulated model instead of the literature values.
Keywords: subsurface flow (SSF) constructed wetland; ecological adsorbent medium; natural wastewater treatment systems; water quality simulation; AQUASIM subsurface flow (SSF) constructed wetland; ecological adsorbent medium; natural wastewater treatment systems; water quality simulation; AQUASIM
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Yam, R.S.; Hsu, C.-C.; Chang, T.-J.; Chang, W.-L. A Preliminary Investigation of Wastewater Treatment Efficiency and Economic Cost of Subsurface Flow Oyster-Shell-Bedded Constructed Wetland Systems. Water 2013, 5, 893-916.

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