Preliminary Evaluation of Submerged Aquatic Macrophytes in a Pilot-Scale Aquatic Treatment System

by T. Taylor Eighmy, Univ of New Hampshire, Dep of Civil, Engineering, Durham, NH, USA,
Paul L. Bishop, Univ of New Hampshire, Dep of Civil, Engineering, Durham, NH, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Environmental Engineering


A study was done to determine which species of submerged aquatic macrophytes (Elodea nuttallii, Myriophyllum heterophyllum, Ceratophyllum demersum) were suitable candidates for use in a temperate climate aquatic treatment system designed to treat primary effluent. Plants were grown in a greenhouse in pilot-scale reactors (120L) having 5d detention times. Two separate experimental runs were conducted to evaluate the effects of influent wastewater strength on plant productivity, yield, and system treatment efficiency. Elodea was the superior candidate because it exhibited the highest productivities (up to 1. 4g dry weight multiplied by (times) m** minus **2 multiplied by (times) d** minus **1) during winter months (reactor temperatures of 10 to 17 degree C). Elodea appeared to regulate the degree of epiphyitization by filamentous green algae while the other two plants were excessively fouled. These results indicate that Elodea-based aquatic treatment systems can provide year round treatment of primary effluent at typical design BOD//5 and total nitrogen loadings. (Edited author abstract. )

Subject Headings: Aquatic habitats | Vegetation | Submerging | Wastewater treatment plants | Wastewater management | Influents | Winter | Temperature effects

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