Constructed wetlands (CW) have attracted growing interest in wastewater treatment research in the last 20 years, and have been investigated intensively worldwide. Many of the basic processes occurring in CWs have been qualitatively established; however, much quantitative knowledge is still lacking. In this mini review, the proportionate contributions of the different system components to removal of contaminants are examined. The main objective of this mini review is to provide a more in-depth assessment of the interactions between the porous bed, plants, and microorganisms during the removal of organic contaminants from the water in a subsurface flow CW system. In addition, a unique technique to study the partial contribution to the total removal of contaminants in a CW is described. Future studies in this field will expand our knowledge of any synergistic or antagonistic interactions between the components and facilitate improved CW construction and operation. Here, phenol will be used as a model industrial organic contaminant to illustrate our current understanding of the contributions of the different components to total removal. I will also discuss the various factors influencing the efficacy of bacteria, whether planktonic or as biofilm (on porous bed or plant roots), in subsurface flow CWs.
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- Constructed wetland
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Aquatic Science
- Water Science and Technology