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Nutrients Removal from Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluent using Eichhornia Crassipes

Authors: S. R. M. Kutty, S. N. I. Ngatenah, M. H. Isa, A. Malakahmad


Water hyacinth has been used in aquatic systems for wastewater purification in many years worldwide. The role of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) species in polishing nitrate and phosphorus concentration from municipal wastewater treatment plant effluent by phytoremediation method was evaluated. The objective of this project is to determine the removal efficiency of water hyacinth in polishing nitrate and phosphorus, as well as chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammonia. Water hyacinth is considered as the most efficient aquatic plant used in removing vast range of pollutants such as organic matters, nutrients and heavy metals. Water hyacinth, also referred as macrophytes, were cultivated in the treatment house in a reactor tank of approximately 90(L) x 40(W) x 25(H) in dimension and built with three compartments. Three water hyacinths were placed in each compartments and water sample in each compartment were collected in every two days. The plant observation was conducted by weight measurement, plant uptake and new young shoot development. Water hyacinth effectively removed approximately 49% of COD, 81% of ammonia, 67% of phosphorus and 92% of nitrate. It also showed significant growth rate at starting from day 6 with 0.33 shoot/day and they kept developing up to 0.38 shoot/day at the end of day 24. From the studies conducted, it was proved that water hyacinth is capable of polishing the effluent of municipal wastewater which contains undesirable amount of nitrate and phosphorus concentration.

Keywords: Phytoremediation, water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes, nutrient removal

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