Article

Performances of a H-SSF constructed wetland as tertiary treatment for wastewater reuse: the case study of "S. Michele di Ganzaria" in Sicily, Italy

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... Despite numerous examples of possible applications of CWs in Mediterranean countries [35], they still continue to be relatively unknown in Sicily, to some extent due to cultural, economic and legislative reasons. In the East of Sicily, studies were carried out to evaluate the efficiency of an H-SSF system in the treatment of urban wastewater to be reused in the irrigation of olive groves, with results showing a significant drop in key pollutants [5,11]. A study carried out on the effects of irrigating tomatoes with reclaimed urban wastewater was particularly interesting, as it showed an increase in crop yields and low levels of Escherichia coli in the fruits [3]. ...
Article
Plant species carry out a series of important biological, chemical and physical processes within a constructed wetland wastewater treatment system and make a significant contribution to wastewater purification. This paper compares two emergent macrophytes - Cyperus alternifolius L. and Typha latifolia L. - planted separately in a pilot horizontal subsurface flow system for the phytoremediation of treated urban wastewater in the West of Sicily (Italy). The total surface area of the three units within the pilot system was 99 m(2). Six subunits were planted with two species and three subunits were left unplanted as the control. The main aim of the study was to demonstrate that, under identical hydraulic and design conditions, not only the use but also the choice of plant species significantly influences wastewater treatment processes with regard to all chemical, physical and microbiological parameters. The reedmace colonized a larger surface area and produced significantly higher yields of aboveground (3221 g m(2)/year) and belowground (4071 g m(2)/year) biomass than the umbrella sedge. Nitrogen content was also found on average to be higher in the reedmace-based treatments (40.6 g m(2)/year for aboveground and 62.7 g m(2)/year for belowground parts). A good level of BOD5 removal (72.4% for reedmace and 64.8% for umbrella sedge-based treatments) was obtained. Escherichia coli removal efficiency did not exceed 89.5%. (C) 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.
... Despite numerous examples of possible applications of CWs in Mediterranean countries [35], they still continue to be relatively unknown in Sicily, to some extent due to cultural, economic and legislative reasons. In the East of Sicily, studies were carried out to evaluate the efficiency of an H-SSF system in the treatment of urban wastewater to be reused in the irrigation of olive groves, with results showing a significant drop in key pollutants [5,11]. A study carried out on the effects of irrigating tomatoes with reclaimed urban wastewater was particularly interesting, as it showed an increase in crop yields and low levels of Escherichia coli in the fruits [3]. ...
Article
Constructed wetland systems for wastewater treatment represent an excellent opportunity for the recovery of water resources in those areas subject to prolonged periods of water shortage. This paper presents a study of the efficiency of a pilot horizontal subsurface flow system using pre-treated urban wastewater from a small town in the West of Sicily. The pilot system had a total surface area of 100 m2 with two units. Unit A was planted with Arundo donax L. and unit B with Cyperus alternifolius L. The HLR was 10 cm d−1. The main objectives of research were to evaluate the growth and biomass yield of two macrophytes and to determine the removal efficiency of physical–chemical and microbiological parameters. The results showed excellent organic pollutant removal (BOD5 70–72%, COD 61–67%), whilst macronutrient removal was found to be lower (TKN 47–50%, TP 43–45%). Pathogen load removal was found to be approximately 90%, but Escherichia coli concentrations at outflow were not within Italian legislative limits. Giant reed showed higher nitrogen content in the biomass (an average 28.9 ± 1.8 g m−2 year−1 and 63.8 ± 1.8 g m−2 year−1 for the aboveground and belowground parts, respectively) than umbrella sedge. The treated wastewater was used to irrigate parkland areas.
... Constructed wetlands (CWs) are by now recognised as effective and very suitable systems for natural (or extensive) treatment of urban wastewater from small to medium communities especially when the treated wastewater shall be reused for crops irrigation (Barbagallo et al., 2001(Barbagallo et al., , 2002. Constructed wetlands are indeed characterised by low operation and maintenance costs and their operation requires only unskilled manpower. ...
Article
The hydraulic behaviour and effluent pollutant concentrations in a pilot-scale two-stage subsurface flow constructed wetland for treatment of municipal wastewater have been simulated. The experimental pilot plant is located in San Michele di Ganzaria (Eastern Sicily) and consists of four lines of two-stage subsurface flow constructed wetlands for secondary or tertiary treatment of municipal wastewater. The first stage, for each line, consists of a horizontal flow bed, while in the second stage a vertical flow bed operates for two lines and a horizontal flow bed for the other two. Phragmites sp. was used as vegetation in two lines while the other two lines are without plants. The HYDRUS-2D software was applied to describe flow and single-solute transport, while the multi-component reactive transport module CW2D was used to model the transformation and elimination processes of organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus. Tracer studies and chemical wastewater analyses were carried out to calibrate and validate the transport model. In general, the simulation results obtained show a good match with the measured data for water flow, tracer experiments and pollutant removal processes.
... The experimental facility is located in San Michele di Ganzaria, a rural community of about 5,000 inhabitants, located 90 kilometres southwest of Catania (Barbagallo et al., 2002(Barbagallo et al., , 2003b. In March 2001, within a wastewater reuse project for the irrigation of about 150 ha of olive orchards, the existing conventional WWTP (trickling filter) was integrated with a H-SSF CW. ...
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Article
The paper reports the results of an investigation on a H-SSF constructed wetland for tertiary treatment in a small community located in eastern Sicily, Italy. The system is designed to reuse wastewater for the irrigation of olive orchards covering about 150 hectares. From March 2001 to September 2005, wastewater samples were collected and the following chemical-physical parameters were determined according to Standard Methods: temperature, pH, EC, DO, TSS (105degrees C), BOD5, COD, TN, TP. The following microbiological parameters were also evaluated: total coliforms, faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, faecal streptococci, Salmonella, helminth eggs. Mean removal efficiencies ranged from 77 to 92% (TSS), 37 to 72% (BOD5), 51 to 79% (COD), 97 to 99.5% (E. coli). Removal efficiency of Salmonella and helminth eggs was always 100% in all samples; however, only 150% of total samples matched the limit of E. coli (< 50 CFU/100 mL) fixed by Italian legislation for wastewater reuse.
Article
In constructed wetland systems (CWs) for wastewater treatment, evapotranspiration (ET) is the most important water balance component in arid and semi-arid regions, where high performance levels are needed when treating contaminants and where it is also vital to preserve as much water as possible for reuse in irrigation. This study shows the results of a series of water balance measurements obtained between 2012 and 2013 from a pilot HSSF system in the West of Sicily (Italy). The system was made by two separate vegetated units: one with Arundo donax L. (giant reed) and the other with Cyperus alternifolius L. (umbrella sedge), and fed with urban wastewater following secondary treatment from an activated-sludge wastewater treatment plant. The aim of the study was to evaluate how two different macrophytes can affect the amount of water at the outflow of CWs under identical environmental, growth and hydraulic conditions. ET values were calculated by determining three components of a simplified water balance model without taking subsurface and surface water into consideration. Crop coefficients were estimated using the FAO 56 method analogous to herbaceous crops in open field cultivation. In the two years of tests, giant reed-unit was found to have higher cumulative evapotranspiration values than umbrella sedge-unit, with an average of 4273.6 mm. For both macrophytes, ET values were constantly found to be higher during the spring-summer season when the plants reached maximum vegetative growth. Crop coefficients were found to be higher than those of traditional crops grown in the Mediterranean area for all growth stages. Water use efficiency (WUE) was rather low on average, at 0.94 g/L for giant reed-unit and 0.66 g/L for umbrella sedge-unit. Results showed that greater or lesser amount of water at the outflow of the CWs is always dependent upon the ET rate of the species and it is essential to estimate the ET when designing a CWs in those regions where prolonged periods of drought can substantially reduce the amount of treated wastewater available for reuse in agriculture.
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