African Journal of Biotechnology

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Constructed wetlands: A future alternative wastewater treatment technology

MS Mthembu, CA Odinga, FM Swalaha, F Bux


Wastewater treatment will always pose problems if there are no new alternative technologies in place to replace the currently available technologies. More recently, it has been estimated that developing countries will run out of water by 2050. This is a course for concern not only to the communities but also a challenge to the scientist to find new ways of wastewater recycling. Water losses can be avoided through implementation of easy and inexpensive technologies for wastewater treatment. Environmental concerns over insufficiently performing septic systems and high expenses in the construction of sewer systems as well as their operations with centralized water purification systems have spurred investigation into the appropriateness of the use of wetland technology for wastewater treatment. Constructed wetland efficiency and potential application in wastewater treatment has been reported decades ago. However, the logistics and research for their commercial applications in wastewater treatment has not been documented in details. Research has shown that wetland systems can achieve high treatment efficiencies with regards to both organic and inorganic nutrients as well as pathogen removal if properly managed and efficiently utilized. This can have a profound effect in the management and conservation of our scarce and yet depleting water resources.

Keywords: Constructed wetlands, rhizofiltration, microbial biofilms, wastewater treatment, treatment mechanism

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(29), pp. 4542-4553
AJOL African Journals Online