Special Issue "Advances in Processes Understanding and Designs of Constructed Wetlands Applied for Treatment of Various Wastewater Sources"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Alexandros Stefanakis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, 73100 Chania, Greece
Interests: ecological engineering; nature-based solutions; wastewater management; circular economy; sustainability; treatment wetlands; environmental education
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Nicolas Kalogerakis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, 73100 Chania, Greece
Interests: constructed wetlands; phytoremediation; bioremediation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Constructed wetlands are today an established sustainable treatment technology with many diverse applications ranging from domestic and municipal wastewater till sludges and various industrial effluents. Although in use for many decades, it is in the last 15–20 years that research has intensified and the number of applications has increased. The development of this green technology is still ongoing, and novel designs and applications occur frequently. However, there are still gaps in fundamental processes understanding in constructed wetlands as bioreactors. Therefore, this Special Issue aims at providing the current knowledge of pollutant removal–transformation processes and mechanisms taking place in wetland beds, combined with the presentation of novel applications of this treatment technology.

Contributions will be accepted on research developments, innovative designs, and experiences from full-scale applications. Review papers summarizing the existing knowledge and technological status of different hybrid systems are also welcome, after coordination with the Special issue Editors.

Prof. Dr. Alexandros Stefanakis
Prof. Dr. Nicolas Kalogerakis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • constructed wetlands
  • wastewater treatment
  • treatment processes
  • removal mechanisms
  • pollutant transformation
  • advanced designs
  • hybrid wetlands
  • domestic wastewater
  • municipal wastewater
  • agro-industrial wastewater
  • industrial effluents
  • sludge treatment and effluent disinfection

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Performance Comparison of Vertical Flow Treatment Wetlands Planted with the Ornamental Plant Zantedeschia aethiopica Operated under Arid and Mediterranean Climate Conditions
Water 2021, 13(11), 1478; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111478 - 25 May 2021
Viewed by 1165
Abstract
This work compares the performance of vertical subsurface flow treatment wetlands (VSSF TWs) for wastewater treatment, planted with Zantedeschia aethiopica (Za), here operated simultaneously under two different climate conditions, arid and Mediterranean. The experimental setup was divided into two treatment lines for each [...] Read more.
This work compares the performance of vertical subsurface flow treatment wetlands (VSSF TWs) for wastewater treatment, planted with Zantedeschia aethiopica (Za), here operated simultaneously under two different climate conditions, arid and Mediterranean. The experimental setup was divided into two treatment lines for each climate condition: three VSSF TWs planted with Schoenplectus californicus (Sc) (VSSF-S), as the control, and three VSSF TWs planted with Zantedeschia aethiopica (Za) (VSSF-Z), as the experimental unit. The four treatment systems were operated at a hydraulic loading rate of 120 mm/d during spring and summer seasons, in two locations, Iquique (Atacama Desert, Chile) and Talca (Central Valley, Chile). The water quality in effluents, plant development, and water balance were used as performance measures. In terms of the water quality, the influents’ characteristics were similar in both climates and classified as “diluted”. For the effluents, in both climate conditions, average COD and TSS effluent concentrations were below 50 mg/L and 15 mg/L, respectively. In both climate conditions, average TN and TP effluent concentrations were below 40 mg/L and 2 mg/L, respectively. Furthermore, only total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) in effluents to VSSF-Z had a significant effect (p < 0.05) in relation to the climate condition. Regarding plant development, Za showed a lower height growth in both climate conditions, with arid consistently 0.3 m and Mediterranean decreasing from 0.6 m to 0.2 m. However, the physiological conditions of the leaves (measured by chlorophyll content) were not affected during operation time in both climates. Water balance showed that it was not influenced by the climate conditions or plant, with water loss differences below 5%. Therefore, taking into account the water quality and water balance results, Zantedeschia aethiopica can be used in VSSF TWs in a way similar to traditional plants under arid and Mediterranean climates. However, its use has to be carefully considered because lower height could affect the esthetics for its implementation in the VSSF TWs. Full article
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Article
Bioelectricity Generation and Production of Ornamental Plants in Vertical Partially Saturated Constructed Wetlands
Water 2021, 13(2), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020143 - 09 Jan 2021
Viewed by 922
Abstract
Energy production in constructed wetlands is a little-known field, as is the operation of vertical partially saturated constructed wetlands (VPS-CWs) that promote both aerobic and anaerobic microbial interactions. By doing so, bacterial degradation is increased, becoming the main mechanism of pollutant removal in [...] Read more.
Energy production in constructed wetlands is a little-known field, as is the operation of vertical partially saturated constructed wetlands (VPS-CWs) that promote both aerobic and anaerobic microbial interactions. By doing so, bacterial degradation is increased, becoming the main mechanism of pollutant removal in constructed wetlands (CWs). For the first time, the generation of bioelectricity, together with the production of ornamental plants in vertical partially saturated constructed wetlands during the treatment of domestic wastewater, was evaluated. Six VPS-CW systems functioned as bioelectricity generators, where the systems were filled with red volcanic gravel and activated carbon as anode and cathode. Three systems were planted with Zantedeschia aethiopica and three with Canna hybrids plants. The development was measured through mother plants and shoots produced every 60 days. The input and output of each VPS-CW was monitored using control parameters such as BOD5, phosphates (P-PO4), and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN). Bioelectricity, power, voltage, and current measurements were performed every 15 days for a period of 7 months. It was found that the VPS-CWs used as biobatteries in combination with the use of domestic wastewater as a substrate improved the development of the two evaluated plant species and stimulated growth and germination of new shoots. No significant differences were found between the different treatments (p ≤ 0.05). Likewise, an average efficient removal of BOD5 (98%) for both systems without statistical differences was observed (p ≤ 0.05), but for TKN and P-PO4, significant differences (p ≤ 0.05) were found between systems planted with Z. aethiopica (TKN: 65%; P-PO4: 20%) and Canna hybrids (TKN: 69%; P-PO4: 27%). This method of water treatment and bioelectricity production with Canna hybrids was an efficient system that generated a great electric current (140 mA/m2), voltage (750 mV), and electric power (15 mW/m2), compared with those observed in systems with Z. aethiopica (60 mA/m2, 500 mV, 9 mA/m2). Full article
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Article
Optimization of Phytoremediation of Nickel by Alocasia puber Using Response Surface Methodology
Water 2020, 12(10), 2707; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102707 - 27 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 768
Abstract
The contamination of water by heavy metals is a worldwide environmental problem. Phytoremediation and constructed wetlands have become increasingly popular as more sustainable and environmentally friendly techniques of removing heavy metals from the wastewater. This study, therefore, investigated the phytoremediation of nickel by [...] Read more.
The contamination of water by heavy metals is a worldwide environmental problem. Phytoremediation and constructed wetlands have become increasingly popular as more sustainable and environmentally friendly techniques of removing heavy metals from the wastewater. This study, therefore, investigated the phytoremediation of nickel by Alocasia puber (A. puber) in a constructed wetlands (CW) microcosm. This study identified the optimum conditions for nickel (Ni) removal from wastewater using response surface methodology (RSM) with central composite design (CCD). Two operational variables were assessed: exposure time and initial Ni concentration. The optimum conditions for the maximum removal of Ni from water were an exposure time of 10 days and 99.76 mg/L initial Ni concentration. The results indicated that 95.6% removal was achieved under the optimized conditions, with a high correlation coefficient (R2 = 0.97) between the statistical model and the experimental data. Field emission scanning electron microscopy images showed anatomical changes in the A. puber samples due to Ni exposure, and transmission electron microscopy images revealed some internal damages in the A. puber, but visual Ni toxicity symptoms, such as necrosis and chlorosis, were not observed in the A. puber. This study demonstrated that A. puber planted in a constructed wetland microcosm was able to remediate wastewater contaminated with Ni. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Different Methods to Assess the Hydraulic Behavior in Horizontal Treatment Wetlands
Water 2020, 12(8), 2286; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082286 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1079
Abstract
While there have been numerous studies on the rate and development of clogging in horizontal subsurface treatment wetlands (HSTWs) and, consequently, the effects on its hydraulic characteristics, research has not shown a clear understanding of the processes. The existing methods for measuring the [...] Read more.
While there have been numerous studies on the rate and development of clogging in horizontal subsurface treatment wetlands (HSTWs) and, consequently, the effects on its hydraulic characteristics, research has not shown a clear understanding of the processes. The existing methods for measuring the impact of clogging provide limited information on the extension and degree of the phenomenon. This study aimed to evaluate the capacity of various measurement techniques to assess the degree and variation in space and time of clogging in HSTWs. Hydraulic conductivity at saturation (Ks) measurements were conducted using a newly implemented scheme, the drainage equation method, and traditional tracer tests, which were carried out in a full-scale HSTW system, located in Sicily, Italy, during 2019. After five years of operation, the results highlighted a severe decrease in Ks (<1000 m day−1) in the inlet zone (despite the fact that the filter gravel was replaced in 2017), a very high reduction of Ks along the central path inside the bed, a nonuniform flow through the HSTW, the presence of stagnant zones, and a reduction of the porosity of the bed gravel. Nonetheless, the mean values of the physical–chemical and bacteriological parameters at the hybrid treatment wetland (hybrid TW) outlet indicated that the partial clogging had no significant effect on the quality of the discharged water. Moreover, the results obtained using the different measurement techniques (in terms of both the Ks values and the flow distribution inside the bed) were consistent with each other and with results obtained previously for the same system. Finally, the most efficient combination of methods to assess clogging in HSTWs was identified. Full article
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Review

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Review
Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture: A Review of Nature-Based Solutions for Nitrogen Removal and Recovery
Water 2021, 13(14), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13141893 - 08 Jul 2021
Viewed by 751
Abstract
The implementation of nature-based solutions (NBSs) can be a suitable and sustainable approach to coping with environmental issues related to diffuse water pollution from agriculture. NBSs exploit natural mitigation processes that can promote the removal of different contaminants from agricultural wastewater, and they [...] Read more.
The implementation of nature-based solutions (NBSs) can be a suitable and sustainable approach to coping with environmental issues related to diffuse water pollution from agriculture. NBSs exploit natural mitigation processes that can promote the removal of different contaminants from agricultural wastewater, and they can also enable the recovery of otherwise lost resources (i.e., nutrients). Among these, nitrogen impacts different ecosystems, resulting in serious environmental and human health issues. Recent research activities have investigated the capability of NBS to remove nitrogen from polluted water. However, the regulating mechanisms for nitrogen removal can be complex, since a wide range of decontamination pathways, such as plant uptake, microbial degradation, substrate adsorption and filtration, precipitation, sedimentation, and volatilization, can be involved. Investigating these processes is beneficial for the enhancement of the performance of NBSs. The present study provides a comprehensive review of factors that can influence nitrogen removal in different types of NBSs, and the possible strategies for nitrogen recovery that have been reported in the literature. Full article
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