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Water 2014, 6(2), 213-228; doi:10.3390/w6020213
Article

Comparative Study of Three Two-Stage Hybrid Ecological Wastewater Treatment Systems for Producing High Nutrient, Reclaimed Water for Irrigation Reuse in Developing Countries

1,*  and 2
Received: 14 November 2013; in revised form: 18 January 2014 / Accepted: 20 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater Treatment and Reuse)
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Abstract: In this study, three different two-stage hybrid ecological wastewater treatment systems (HEWTS) with combinations of horizontal flow (HF) constructed wetlands (CWs), vertical flow (VF) CWs and stabilization ponds (SP) were evaluated for the removal of Organic-N, NH4+, NO3, Total N, Total P, Total Coliforms (TCol) and Escherichia Coli, BOD, COD and TSS. The overall goal of the study was novel in comparison to most other studies in that we sought to evaluate and compare the efficiency of the three HEWTSs for water quality improvements, while minimizing nutrient removal from the wastewater in order to generate high quality reclaimed water for reuse for irrigation of crops. The most effective systems were those systems containing a vertical flow component, either HF-VF or VF-HF. In these two HEWTS, NH4+ was reduced by 85.5% and 85.0% respectively, while NO3 was increased to 91.4 ± 17.6 mg/L and to 82.5 ± 17.2 mg/L, respectively, an artifact of nitrification. At the same time, E. coli was reduced by 99.93% and 99.99%, respectively. While the goal of most wastewater treatment is focused on reducing nutrients, the results here demonstrate that two-stage HEWTSs containing VF components can be used to produce a high quality effluent while retaining inorganic nutrients, thereby conserving this valuable resource for reuse as irrigation water for agriculture in subtropical developing countries where water and fertilizer resources are scarce or expensive.
Keywords: horizontal flow constructed wetlands; vertical flow constructed wetlands; stabilization aerobic ponds; nutrients; sustainability; developing countries; subtropical horizontal flow constructed wetlands; vertical flow constructed wetlands; stabilization aerobic ponds; nutrients; sustainability; developing countries; subtropical
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Zurita, F.; White, J.R. Comparative Study of Three Two-Stage Hybrid Ecological Wastewater Treatment Systems for Producing High Nutrient, Reclaimed Water for Irrigation Reuse in Developing Countries. Water 2014, 6, 213-228.

AMA Style

Zurita F, White JR. Comparative Study of Three Two-Stage Hybrid Ecological Wastewater Treatment Systems for Producing High Nutrient, Reclaimed Water for Irrigation Reuse in Developing Countries. Water. 2014; 6(2):213-228.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zurita, Florentina; White, John R. 2014. "Comparative Study of Three Two-Stage Hybrid Ecological Wastewater Treatment Systems for Producing High Nutrient, Reclaimed Water for Irrigation Reuse in Developing Countries." Water 6, no. 2: 213-228.


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