Phosphorous Removal Potential of Vertical Constructed Wetlands Filled with Different Filter Materials

  • Deepa Minakshi Department of Environmental Science, Graphic Era Deemed to be University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
  • Pradeep Kumar Sharma Department of Environmental Science, Graphic Era Deemed to be University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
  • Anju Rani Department of Life Sciences, Graphic Era Deemed to be University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
  • Piyush Malaviya Department of Environmental Science, University of Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir, India
Keywords: Filter materials, Vertical Flow Constructed Wetland (VCW) Units, hosphorous, Dairy Influent, Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT)


This investigation was carried out to observe the effects of filter materials on contaminant removal efficiencies of Vertical Constructed Wetland (VCW) units. Nine real scale VCW units were operated for a period of 12 months (Jan -Dec 2016) for treating dairy wastewater. All nine VCW units were filled with different sized filter materials (gravels and sand) and were planted with Arundo donax at surface. The hydraulic retention time (HRT) for all the units was fixed as 24 h. The major water parameter focused in the present study was total phosphorous (TP). The findings of this study revealed that all the three filter media (10 mm & 20 mm gravels and sand) were efficient in removing phosphorus from dairy wastewater.The average concentration of TP in the dairy influent was recorded as 39.3 ± 9.8 mg L-1. Average TP concentration in gravel filters (CW-1 to CW-6) were recorded in the range of 16.9 to 18.1 mg L-1while in sand filters (CW-7 toCW-9), it ranged between 2.2 to 3.9 mg L-1.The reduction of TP in the effluent was more in case of sand filters (2.2 ± 2.6mg L-1). The removal rate in sand filters showed noticeable reduction as compared to gravel filters. Maximum removal rate of 94.1% was also observed in sand filled units while minimum removal was seen in gravel beds (54.7 to 58.1%). Hence, the results of this investigation recommends the use of sand as the better option for TP removal and a good alternate for designing VCW in future wetland construction.


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