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Constructed Wetland to Crop Soybean (Glycine max L.): Eco-Engineered Application for Phytoremediation of Wastewater Onsite

[ Vol. 4 , Issue. 3 ]

Author(s):

Alfredo Garcia-Perez*, Mark Harrison PE and Bill Grant   Pages 189 - 196 ( 8 )

Abstract:


Background: Chemical fertilizers used for field crops have three main macronutrients components: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. They are the limiting factor to plant growth. Effluents from treated wastewater have appropriate concentration levels of those macronutrients to support crop production.

Aim: The main purposes of this pilot case field study were: (i) to recover the valuable nutrients from sewage using a recirculating vertical flow constructed wetland planted on top with soybean (Glycine max, L.); (ii) to determine the potential of growing renewable feedstock commodities irrigated with treated effluent as a phytoremediation mechanism to clean wastewater onsite.

Method: Grab samples of effluents from both septic tank and the constructed wetland were analyzed for water quality variables.

Result: Mean treatment efficiencies (removal) were high for biochemical oxygen demand (98%), ammoniumnitrogen (97%), total suspended solids (96%), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (95%), fecal coliforms (93%), total nitrogen (85%), and total phosphorus (77%), while it was relatively low for potassium (43%). Supplementary irrigation or commercial fertilizers were not added during the growing season. The mean yield ± standard deviation (seed mean weight ± standard deviation) for fresh dried weight of soybeans crop was equivalent to 2,625 ± 1,653 kg/ha (0.21 ± 0.05 g/bean).

Conclusion: These results show that soybean growing on top of a recirculating vertical flow constructed wetland could be a sustainable alternative technology and a green mechanism to remove pollutants (nutrients) from sewage. Also, nutrients recovery through direct reuse of treated sewage effluents as source of fertilizers and water to grow first-generation biofuels commodities such as soybean is feasible.

Keywords:

Commodities, constructed wetland, Glycine max, nutrients, sewage, soybeans, water reclamation.

Affiliation:

LaGrange County Health Department, Environmental Health Office, 304 North Townline Road, Ste 1, LaGrange, Indiana 46761-1319, KCI Technologies Inc., 6983 Corporate Circle, Indianapolis, Indiana 46278, LaGrange County Health Department, 304 North Townline Road, Suite 1, LaGrange, Indiana 46761

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