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Impact of Ornamental Vegetation Type and Different Substrate Layers on Pollutant Removal in Constructed Wetland Mesocosms Treating Rural Community Wastewater

Faculty of Engineering, construction and Habitat, Universidad Veracruzana Bv. Adolfo Ruíz Cortines 455, Costa Verde, C.P. 94294 Boca del Rio, Veracruz, Mexico
Division of Research and Postgraduate Studies, Tecnológico Nacional de México/Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Misantla, Km. 1.8 Carretera a Loma del Cojolite.93821 ZC. Misantla, Veracruz, Mexico
Academy of Sustainability and Regional Development, El Colegio de Veracruz, Xalapa, 91000 ZC. Veracruz, Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2019, 7(8), 531;
Received: 21 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 8 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wastewater Treatment Processes)
PDF [1995 KB, uploaded 12 August 2019]


Improving water quality is a relevant environmental aspect, and using constructed wetlands (CWs) is a sustainable option for this; both porous material filled cells and plants that collectively remove contaminants must be readily available and inexpensive. This study evaluated CWs and their functionality by comparing two ornamental plants (Spathiphyllum wallisii and Hedychium coronarium) planted in experimental mesocosm units filled with layers of porous river rock, tepezil, and soil, or in mesocosms with layers of porous river rock, and tepezil, without the presence of soil. The findings during the experiments (180 days), showed that the removal of pollutants (chemical oxygen demand (COD), total solids suspended (TSS), nitrogen as ammonium (N-NH4), as nitrate (N-NO3), and phosphate (P-PO4) was 20–50% higher in mesocosms with vegetation that in the absence of this, and those mesocosms with the soil layer between 33–45% favored removal of P-PO4. Differences regarding of vegetation removal were only observed for N-NH4, being 25–45% higher in CWs with H. coronarium, compared with S. wallisii. Both species are suitable for using in CWs, for its functionality as phytoremediation, and aesthetic advantages could generate interest for wastewater treatment in rural communities, parks, schools or in domiciliary levels like floral flower boxes in the backyard. The study also revealed that a soil layer in CWs is necessary to increase the removal of P-PO4, an ion hardly eliminated in water treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: constructed wetlands; phytoremediation; water cleaning; ornamental vegetation constructed wetlands; phytoremediation; water cleaning; ornamental vegetation

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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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Zamora, S.; Sandoval, L.; Marín-Muñíz, J.L.; Fernández-Lambert, G.; Hernández-Orduña, M.G. Impact of Ornamental Vegetation Type and Different Substrate Layers on Pollutant Removal in Constructed Wetland Mesocosms Treating Rural Community Wastewater. Processes 2019, 7, 531.

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