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Water 2016, 8(10), 465; doi:10.3390/w8100465

Potential of Constructed Wetlands for Removal of Antibiotics from Saline Aquaculture Effluents

Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental, CIIMAR/CIMAR, Universidade do Porto, Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, Avenida General Norton de Matos s/n, 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal
Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hans Brix
Received: 16 August 2016 / Revised: 6 October 2016 / Accepted: 11 October 2016 / Published: 18 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructed Wetlands for Water Treatment: New Developments)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2429 KB, uploaded 18 October 2016]   |  


This work aimed to evaluate the potential of constructed wetlands (CWs) for removal of antibiotics (enrofloxacin and oxytetracycline) and antibiotic resistant bacteria from saline aquaculture wastewaters. Removal of other contaminants (nutrients, organic matter and metals) and toxicity reduction and the influence of antibiotics with these processes were evaluated. Thus, nine CWs microcosms, divided into three treatments, were assembled and used to treat wastewater (doped or not with the selected antibiotics) between October and December of 2015. Each week treated wastewater was removed and new wastewater (doped or not) was introduced in CWs. Results showed >99% of each antibiotic was removed in CWs. After three weeks of adaptation, removal percentages >95% were also obtained for total bacteria and for antibiotic resistant bacteria. Nutrients, organic matter and metal removal percentages in CWs treated wastewater were identical in the absence and in the presence of each antibiotic. Toxicity in treated wastewaters was significantly lower than in initial wastewaters, independently of antibiotics presence. Results showed CWs have a high efficiency for removing enrofloxacin or oxytetracycline as well as antibiotic resistant bacteria from saline aquaculture wastewaters. CWs can also remove other contaminants independently of drug presence, making the aquaculture wastewater possible to be reutilized and/or recirculated. View Full-Text
Keywords: constructed wetlands; aquaculture wastewater; antibiotics; antibiotic resistance; Phragmites australis constructed wetlands; aquaculture wastewater; antibiotics; antibiotic resistance; Phragmites australis

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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bôto, M.; Almeida, C.M.R.; Mucha, A.P. Potential of Constructed Wetlands for Removal of Antibiotics from Saline Aquaculture Effluents. Water 2016, 8, 465.

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