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Revista internacional de contaminación ambiental

Print version ISSN 0188-4999


ROMERO-AGUILAR, Mariana; COLIN-CRUZ, Arturo; SANCHEZ-SALINAS, Enrique  and  ORTIZ-HERNANDEZ, Ma. Laura. Wastewater treatment by an artificial wetlands pilot system: evaluation of the organic charge removal. Rev. Int. Contam. Ambient [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.3, pp.157-167. ISSN 0188-4999.

Wastewater treatment is a priority at the global level, because it is important to have enough water of good quality, which will allow an improvement of environment, health and life quality. In Mexico, because of insufficient infrastructure, high costs, lack of maintenance and qualified staff, only 36 % of the generated wastewaters are treated, which generates the need for developing alternative technologies for their depuration. Artificial wetlands are an alternative due their high efficiency for removal of polluting agents and their low installation and maintenance costs. This paper evaluates the removal percentage of the organic charge of wastewaters in a treatment system of artificial wetlands of horizontal flux, with two vegetal species. The system was designed with three modules installed in a sequential way. At the first one, organisms of the species Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steudel were integrated; at the second, organisms of the species Typha dominguensis (Pers.) Steudel, and at the third, both species. The experimental modules were installed at the effluent of a primary treatment, which contains municipal wastewater coming from a research building. The following parameters were analyzed in the water: chemical oxygen demand (COD), ions of nitrogen (NO3-, N-NO2- y N-NH4+) and total phosphorus. Additionally, the total count of bacteria associated to the system was evaluated. Results showed that the system is an option for the removal of organic matter and nutrients, of low operation and maintenance costs.

Keywords : wastewaters; artificial wetland; pollutants.

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