Long term assessment of created wetlands functioning within agricultural areas
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
The polluted agricultural wastewater, after reaching marine recipients, can cause eutrophication. This problem can be tackled and mitigated by using constructed wetlands as water treatment systems. The fact that constructed wetlands work through long periods of time has led many scientists to evaluate how long they can still treat their influents effectively. The development and growth of vegetation and the accumulation of nutrients on the soils in a wetland are expected to occur. These processes change the wetland efficiency to remove pollutants. In this study, a set of wetlands constructed to treat agricultural wastewater were analyzed in different periods to assess if there is a difference in removal efficiency of nitrogen and phosphorus. This assessment was performed by analyzing the retention rate, k and k20 values, which are variables that quantify the nutrients removal, in different periods of each employed wetland. Some of the observations demonstrated differences when comparing different periods of the wetlands. The nitrogen removal presented better performance in one of the employed wetlands when this was older. Another employed wetland has not shown a clear difference between different periods. In the wetlands with high vegetation densities, the nitrogen removal was more stable over consecutive years. The occurrence of oscillations in nitrogen removal was observed more often in the wetlands with the highest vegetation densities over consecutive years. The phosphorus removal presented no clear differences between different periods. The results suggest that the removal of nitrogen improves after wetland creation due to the growth of vegetation. In addition, they suggest that wetlands with high vegetation densities tend to oscillate the nitrogen removal more or less often according to the density of the vegetation due to the balance between denitrification and decomposition. Further, the results suggest that the removal of phosphorus remains unchanged over longer periods than the periods considered in this study (four to six years) due to the deposition of organic matter on the soils.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 11 p.
agricultural wastewater, constructed wetlands, long term assessment, nutrients removal
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-17139OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-17139DiVA: diva2:492232
Subject / course
2011-11-15, 15:15 (English)
UppsokLife Earth Science