Removal of nitrogen, phosphorus and COD from waste water using sand filtration system with Phragmites Australis

Ariyawathie G. Wathugala, Takao Suzuki, Yasushi Kurihara

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45 Citations (Scopus)


The removal efficiencies of nitrogen, phosphorus and COD from waste water were examined using sand filtration systems with Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex. Steudel. The quality of effluent waters from the system with plant were far better than those from the one without plant, implying Phragmites could incorporate nitrogen and phosphorus into its tissues and promote phosphorus absorption onto the sand by the release of oxygen from the roots. The P-pot provided with the influent containing 198 mg l- of total nitrogen and 21 mg l-1 of total phosphorus had the highest biomass of Phragmites. Harvestable above-ground biomass accounted for about 3.5 kg m-2 and removable nitrogen and phosphorus accounted for 69 and 6 g m-2 respectively. The removal rates of total nitrogen and phosphorus in the system with Phragmites receiving variable amounts of COD were almost at the same level and also much better than those of the systems without plant, implying that the different COD concentrations in the influent media do not impair the removal efficiencies of nitrogen and phosphorus. Also Phragmites was found to resist COD concentration as high as 128 mg l-1, and signs of clogging were not detected in this system throughout the experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1224
Number of pages8
JournalWater Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1987 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • COD
  • P in the pot
  • Phragmites
  • distribution of N
  • nitrogen
  • phosphorus
  • removal efficiency
  • sand filtration system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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