The effect of environmental conditions on the ability of a constructed wetland to disinfect municipal wastewaters

A. Zdragas, G. C. Zalidis, V. Takavakoglou, S. Katsavouni, E. T. Anastasiadis, K. Eskridge, A. Panoras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Constructed wetlands are widely used all over the world for the treatment of municipal wastewaters, which are characterized by high concentrations of pathogens. The objectives of this study were (1) to study the effect of solar radiation and temperature on the ability of a constructed wetland to reduce the concentration of total coliforms (TC), and (2) to evaluate the relationship between the presence of Salmonella spp. in the outflow and the concentration of TC. The results of this study showed that under Mediterranean environmental conditions, the percentage reduction in coliforms was lower during winter compared to all other seasons. Maximum removal of coliforms was achieved under conditions of high solar radiation and temperature. In addition, solar radiation was found to play a greater role in coliform die-off at low temperatures than at high temperatures. Finally, it was found that the probability of Salmonella spp. appearance in the outflow of the wetland was related to the concentration of TC. The increase in coliform bacteria in the effluents also increased the chances of Salmonella appearance. The risk of Salmonella spp. appearance in the outflow is minimized when the concentration of TC is below 102/100 mL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-515
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2002

Keywords

  • Constructed wetlands
  • Salmonella
  • Solar radiation
  • Temperature
  • Total coliforms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution

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