Removal of nutrients from septic tank effluent with baffle subsurface-flow constructed wetlands
Three new baffle flow constructed wetlands (CWs), namely the baffle horizontal flow CW (Z1), baffle vertical flow CW (Z2) and baffle hybrid flow CW (Z3), along with one traditional horizontal subsurface flow CW (Z4) were designed to test the removal efficiency of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from the septic tank effluent under varying hydraulic retention times (HRTs). Results showed that the optimal HRT was two days for maximal removal of N and P from the septic tank effluent among the four CWs. At this HRT, the Z1, Z2, Z3 and Z4 CWs removed, respectively, 49.93, 58.50, 46.01 and 44.44% of TN as well as 87.82, 93.23, 95.97 and 91.30% of TP. Our study further revealed that the Z3 CW was the best design for overall removal of N and P from the septic tank effluent due to its hybrid flow directions with better oxygen supply inside the CW system.