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Phytoremediation of Wastewater Using Some of Aquatic Macrophytes as Biological Purifiers for Irrigation Purposes

Authors: Dilshad G.A. Ganjo, Ahmed I. Khwakaram


An attempt was made for availability of wastewater reuse/reclamation for irrigation purposes using phytoremediation “the low cost and less technology", using six local aquatic macrophytes “e.g. T. angustifolia, B. maritimus, Ph. australis, A. donax, A. plantago-aquatica and M. longifolia (Linn)" as biological waste purifiers. Outdoor experiments/designs were conducted from May 03, 2007 till October 15, 2008, close to one of the main sewage channels of Sulaimani City/Iraq*. All processes were mainly based on conventional wastewater treatment processes, besides two further modifications were tested, the first was sand filtration pots, implanted by individual species of experimental macrophytes and the second was constructed wetlands implanted by experimental macrophytes all together. Untreated and treated wastewater samples were analyzed for their key physico-chemical properties (only heavy metals Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu with particular reference to removal efficiency by experimental macrophytes are highlighted in this paper). On the other hand, vertical contents of heavy metals were also evaluated from both pots and the cells of constructed wetland. After 135 days, macrophytes were harvested and heavy metals were analyzed in their biomass (roots/shoots) for removal efficiency assessment (i.e. uptake/ bioaccumulation rate). Results showed that; removal efficiency of all studied heavy metals was much higher in T. angustifolia followed by Ph. Australis, B. maritimus and A. donax in triple experiment sand pots. Constructed wetland experiments have revealed that; the more replicated constructed wetland cells the highest heavy metal removal efficiency was indicated.

Keywords: aquatic macrophytes, Heavy Metals (Fe, Zn and Cu), Phytoremediation and Removal Efficiency

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