Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.131
Document accepted manuscript
Title (Primary) Resilience of carbon and nitrogen removal due to aeration interruption in aerated treatment wetlands
Author Boog, J.; Nivala, J.; Aubron, T.; Mothes, S.; van Afferden, M.; Müller, R.A.
Journal Science of the Total Environment
Year 2018
Department ANA; UBZ
Volume 621
Page From 960
Page To 969
Language englisch
Keywords Aeration; Constructed wetland; Domestic wastewater; Aeration stop; System dynamics
UFZ wide themes RU2;

Treatment wetlands have long been used for domestic and industrial wastewater treatment. In recent decades, treatment wetland technology has evolved and now includes intensified designs such as aerated treatment wetlands. Aerated treatment wetlands are particularly dependent on aeration, which requires reliable air pumps and, in most cases, electricity. Whether aerated treatment wetlands are resilient to disturbances such as an aeration interruption is currently not well known.

In order to investigate this knowledge gap, we carried out a pilot-scale experiment on one aerated horizontal flow wetland and one aerated vertical flow wetland under warm (Twater > 17 °C) and cold (Twater < 10 °C) weather conditions. Both wetlands were monitored before, during and after an aeration interruption of 6 d by taking grab samples of the influent and effluent, as well as pore water. The resilience of organic carbon and nitrogen removal processes in the aerated treatment wetlands depended on system design (horizontal or vertical flow) and water temperature. Organic carbon and nitrogen removal for both systems severely deteriorated after 4–5 d of aeration interruption, resulting in effluent water quality similar to that expected from a conventional horizontal sub-surface flow treatment wetland. Both experimental aerated treatment wetlands recovered their initial treatment performance within 3–4 d at Twater > 17 °C (warm weather) and within 6–8 d (horizontal flow system) and 4–5 d (vertical flow system) at Twater < 10 °C (cold weather). In the vertical flow system, DOC, DN and NH4-N removal were less affected by low water temperatures, however, the decrease of DN removal in the vertical flow aerated wetland at Twater > 17 °C was twice as high as in the horizontal flow aerated wetland. The quick recovery of treatment performance highlights the benefits of aerated treatment wetlands as resilient wastewater treatment technologies.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Boog, J., Nivala, J., Aubron, T., Mothes, S., van Afferden, M., Müller, R.A. (2018):
Resilience of carbon and nitrogen removal due to aeration interruption in aerated treatment wetlands
Sci. Total Environ. 621 , 960 - 969