Comparative analysis of greywater pollutant removal efficiency with horizontal free water surface flow wetland with other wetland technologies

Elsevier, Heliyon, Volume 9, July 2023
Chikogu Ameso V., Essandoh H.M.K., Donkor E.A., Nwude M.O.

The reuse of treated wastewater for agriculture and other purposes is globally recognized as a reliable water source. Constructed wetlands are cost-effective and reliable green technologies for wastewater treatment, offering an environmentally friendly and affordable solution with minimal operational and maintenance requirements. This study assessed four wetland technologies (HFWSF, VFSF, VSSF, and HSSF) for treating greywater according to regulatory standards. The technologies effectively maintained pH levels, and both treated and untreated greywater samples met FEPA limits. They efficiently reduced dissolved and suspended particles, remaining below FEPA discharge limits for conductivity, TDS, turbidity, and TSS. However, elevated ammonia levels in both treated and untreated samples required additional treatment or mitigation. Sulphate levels were successfully mitigated, and phosphorus limits were met, with HFWSF already compliant even before treatment. Nitrate levels were reduced to meet FEPA limits, ensuring regulatory compliance. While BOD limits were met in both treated and untreated samples, untreated samples exceeded COD limits, necessitating more efficient treatment methods. HFWSF and HSSF complied with COD limits, whereas VFSF and VSSF did not. Both treated and untreated samples exceeded FEPA limits for oil and grease, indicating the need for additional treatment. Untreated samples exhibited high coliform contamination levels, underscoring the importance of effective treatment. However, all technologies successfully reduced coliform levels in treated samples, meeting FEPA limits and confirming treatment effectiveness. The combination of Typha (Domingensis) in the horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetland improved pollutant removal, nutrient removal, and contaminant elimination. Incorporating water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) with horizontal free water surface flow wetland technology demonstrated the highest efficacy in removing various pollutants. This combination outperformed other wetland technologies in effectively removing pollutants, including ammonia (60%), oil and grease (78.46%), COD (85%), TP (37.04%), FC (75%), and TC (79.59%), representing significant progress in greywater treatment.