The presence of estrone (E1), 17 beta-estradiol (E2) and 17 alpha-ethynylestradiol (EE2) in sewage treatment work (STW) effluent pose a potential risk to aquatic ecosystem. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of vertical-flow wetland as polishing step of conventional wastewater treatment in the removal of estrogens and to examine the effect of sand depth. The highest removal efficiency of 67.8 ± 28.0%, 84.0 ± 15.4% and 75.3 ± 17.6% for E1, E2 and EE2, respectively, was achieved by the shallowest wetland among three constructed wetlands with different filter layer depth (i.e. 7.5, 30 and 60 cm). Together with the result that the performance of wetlands when operating in unsaturated condition was superior to that when operating in water-saturated condition, it is suggested that maintaining sufficient aerobic circumstance in constructed wetlands was important for estrogens removal. Core sampling indicated that the highest efficiency achieved in extremely shallow wetland might be due partly to the highest root density, besides the superior condition for penetration of oxygen. The adsorbed estrogens in sand accounted for less than 12% of the removed estrogens irrespective of the depth, indicating biotic processes play a major role in the estrogens removal.
- Constructed wetland
- Root length density
- Treated municipal effluent
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal