An assessment of the performance of municipal constructed wetlands in Ireland.

Anthony Hickey, Joerg Arnscheidt, E Joyce, J o'Toole, G Galvin, M o' Callaghan, K Conroy, D Killian, T Shryane, F Hughes, Katherine Walsh, E Kavanagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While performance assessments of constructed wetlands sites around the world have appraised their capacity for effective removal of organics, a large variance remains in these sites' reported ability to retain nutrients, which appears to depend on differences in design, operation and climate factors. Nutrient retention is a very important objective for constructed wetlands, to avoid eutrophication of aquatic environments receiving their effluents. This study assessed the performance of constructed wetlands in terms of nutrient retention and associated parameters under the humid conditions of Ireland's temperate maritime climate. A review of the performance of 52 constructed wetland sites from 17 local authorities aimed to identify the best performing types of constructed wetlands and the treatment factors determining successful compliance with environmental standards. Data analysis compared effluent results from constructed wetlands with secondary free surface flow or tertiary horizontal subsurface flow, hybrid systems and integrated constructed wetlands with those from small-scale mechanical wastewater treatment plants of the same size class. Nutrient concentrations in effluents of constructed wetlands were negatively correlated (p <.01) with specific area, i.e. the ratio of surface area and population equivalents. The latest generation of integrated constructed wetlands, which had applied design guidelines issued by the Department of the Environment, performed best. Storm management design features improved treatment performance of constructed wetlands significantly (p <.05) for total suspended solids concentrations and exceedance frequency of limit values for total nitrogen. Mechanical wastewater treatment plants, secondary free surface water and tertiary horizontal subsurface flow wetlands showed a very large variance in effluent concentrations for organic and nutrient parameters. E. coli numbers in effluents were lowest for integrated constructed wetlands with an arithmetic mean of 89 MPN/100 ml. Despite Ireland's humid climate, some constructed wetland sites achieved long or frequent periods of zero effluent discharge and thus did not transfer any waterborne pollution to their receptors during these periods.
LanguageEnglish
Pages263-272
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume210
Early online date1 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2018

Fingerprint

constructed wetland
effluent
nutrient
subsurface flow
climate
free surface flow
secondary flow
performance assessment
aquatic environment
compliance
eutrophication
surface area
wetland
surface water
pollution

Keywords

  • Constructed wetlands
  • wastewater treatment
  • water quality
  • phosphorus
  • nitrogen
  • storm management
  • specific area

Cite this

Hickey, Anthony ; Arnscheidt, Joerg ; Joyce, E ; o'Toole, J ; Galvin, G ; o' Callaghan, M ; Conroy, K ; Killian, D ; Shryane, T ; Hughes, F ; Walsh, Katherine ; Kavanagh, E. / An assessment of the performance of municipal constructed wetlands in Ireland. In: Journal of Environmental Management. 2018 ; Vol. 210. pp. 263-272.
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title = "An assessment of the performance of municipal constructed wetlands in Ireland.",
abstract = "While performance assessments of constructed wetlands sites around the world have appraised their capacity for effective removal of organics, a large variance remains in these sites' reported ability to retain nutrients, which appears to depend on differences in design, operation and climate factors. Nutrient retention is a very important objective for constructed wetlands, to avoid eutrophication of aquatic environments receiving their effluents. This study assessed the performance of constructed wetlands in terms of nutrient retention and associated parameters under the humid conditions of Ireland's temperate maritime climate. A review of the performance of 52 constructed wetland sites from 17 local authorities aimed to identify the best performing types of constructed wetlands and the treatment factors determining successful compliance with environmental standards. Data analysis compared effluent results from constructed wetlands with secondary free surface flow or tertiary horizontal subsurface flow, hybrid systems and integrated constructed wetlands with those from small-scale mechanical wastewater treatment plants of the same size class. Nutrient concentrations in effluents of constructed wetlands were negatively correlated (p <.01) with specific area, i.e. the ratio of surface area and population equivalents. The latest generation of integrated constructed wetlands, which had applied design guidelines issued by the Department of the Environment, performed best. Storm management design features improved treatment performance of constructed wetlands significantly (p <.05) for total suspended solids concentrations and exceedance frequency of limit values for total nitrogen. Mechanical wastewater treatment plants, secondary free surface water and tertiary horizontal subsurface flow wetlands showed a very large variance in effluent concentrations for organic and nutrient parameters. E. coli numbers in effluents were lowest for integrated constructed wetlands with an arithmetic mean of 89 MPN/100 ml. Despite Ireland's humid climate, some constructed wetland sites achieved long or frequent periods of zero effluent discharge and thus did not transfer any waterborne pollution to their receptors during these periods.",
keywords = "Constructed wetlands, wastewater treatment, water quality, phosphorus, nitrogen, storm management, specific area",
author = "Anthony Hickey and Joerg Arnscheidt and E Joyce and J o'Toole and G Galvin and {o' Callaghan}, M and K Conroy and D Killian and T Shryane and F Hughes and Katherine Walsh and E Kavanagh",
note = "Reference text: Babatunde, A., Zhao, Y., O’Neill, M. and O’Sullivan, B., 2007. Constructed wetlands for environmental pollution control: a review of developments, research and practice in Ireland. Environment International, 34, 1, 116-126 Bialowiec, A., Albuquerque, A. and Randerson, P., 2014. The influence of evapotranspiration on vertical flow subsurface constructed wetland performance. Ecological Engineering, 67, 89-94 Brix, H., 1994. Use of Constructed Wetlands in Water Pollution Control: Historical Development, Present Status, and Future Perspectives. Water Science and Technology. 30, 8, 209-223 Brix, H., Schierup, H. 1989. Danish experience with sewage treatment in constructed wetlands. In: Hammer, D.A., ed. 1989, Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. Lewis publishers, Chelsea, Michigan Cooper, P., 1990. European Design and Operation Guidelines for reed bed treatment systems. Prepared for the European Water Pollution Control Association, Water Research Centre Publication Cooper, P., 2007. The Constructed Wetland Association UK database of constructed wetland systems. Water Science and Technology, 56, 3, 1-6 Cooper, D., Griffin, P., Cooper P., 2008. Factors affecting the longevity of sub-surface horizontal flow systems operating as tertiary treatment for sewage effluent. In: Vymazal, J. (ed.), Wastewater treatment, plant dynamics and management in constructed and natural wetlands. Springer, Dordrecht, the Netherlands, 191-198 Debing, J., Lianbi, Z., Xiaosong, Y., Jianming, H., Mengbin, Z., Yuzhong, W., 2009. COD, TN and TP removal of Typha wetland vegetation of different structures. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 18, 183-190 Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 2009. European communities environmental objectives (Surface water) regulations 2009. Available at http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/pdf/2009/en.si.2009.0272.pdf accessed June 2016 Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 2010. Integrated constructed wetlands. Available from: URL: http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/Environment/Water/FileDownLoad,24931,en.pdf accessed January 2016 Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 2015. Urban Waste Water Treatment in 2014. Available from http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/water/wastewater/2014{\%}20waste{\%}20water{\%}20report_web.pdf Doody, D., Harrington, R., Johnson M., Hofmann, O. and McEntee, D., 2009. Sewerage treatment in an integrated constructed wetland. Municipal Engineer, 162, 199-205 Environmental Protection Agency. 1995. Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC). Procedures and criteria in relation to storm water overflows. Available at http://www.epa.ie/pub/advice/wastewater/UrbanWasteWater2.pdf accessed June 2016 Gopal, B., 1999. Natural and Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment: Potentials and Problems. Water Science and Technology., 40, 3, 27-35 Haberl, R., 1999. Constructed Wetlands: Chance to Solve Wastewater Problems in Developing Countries. Water, Science and Technology., 40, 3, 11-17 Kickuth, R., 1977. Degradation and incorporation of nutrients from rural wastewaters by plant rhizosphere under limnic conditions. In: Utilization of Manure by Land Spreading. Comm. Europ. Commun., EUR 5672e, London, UK, pp. 335–343. Knowles, P., Griffin, P., Davies, P., 2010. Complementary methods to investigate the development of clogging within a horizontal sub-surface flow tertiary treatment wetland. Water Research, 44, 320-330 Langergraber, G., 2005. The role of plant uptake on the removal of organic matter and nutrients in subsurface flow constructed wetlands: a simulation study. Water Science and Technology, 51 9, 213-23 Luanaigh, N., Goodhue, R., and Gill, L., 2010. Nutrient removal from on- site domestic wastewater in horizontal subsurface flow reed beds in Ireland. Ecological Engineering, 36, 1266-1276 Mills, G., 2000. Modelling the water budget of Ireland—evapotranspiration and soil moisture. Irish Geography, 33, 99 - 116 O’Hogain, S. and McCarton, L., 2010. The Operation of hybrid reed bed and willow bed combinations in Ireland- Zero discharge and the potential for no monitoring of domestic application of this combination. Proceedings 2nd International Conference on Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater treatment and environmental pollution control. UCD, Dublin. October 2010 United Kingdom Water Industry Research, 2011. A review of the setting of iron limits for wastewater treatment works effluents. Available at http://ukwir.forefront-library.com/reports/11-ww-20-4/93693/94658/90055,90059/90059 accessed October 2015 United States Environmental Protection Agency Manual,1999. Constructed Wetlands Treatment of Municipal Wastewaters. Available from: water.epa.gov/type/wetlands/.../constructed-wetlands-design-manual.pdf Valsero,M., Matamoros,V.,Cardona, R.,Villacorta, J.,Becares, E and Bayona, J., 2014. Comprenhensive Assessment of the design configuration of constructed wetlands for the removal of personnel care products from urban wastewaters. Water Research 44, 3669-3678 Vymazal, J., 200. Types of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment: their potential for nutrient removal. In Vymazal, J. (Ed.) Transformations of Nutrients in Natural and Constructed Wetlands. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp.1-93 Vymazal, J., 2005. Horizontal sub-surface flow and hybrid constructed wetlands systems for wastewater treatment. Ecological Engineering, 25, 478 -490 Vymazal, J., 2007. Removal of nutrients in various types of constructed wetlands. Science of the Total Environment, 380, 48-65 Vymazal, J., 2009. Removal of organics in constructed wetlands with horizontal sub-surface flow: A review of the field experience Vymazal, J., 2013a. The use of hybrid constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment with special attention to nitrogen removal: A review of a recent development. Water Research, 47, 4795-4811 Vymazal, J., 2013b. Emergent plants used in free water surface constructed wetlands: A review. Ecological Engineering, 61, 582-592 Walsh, S., 2012. A summary of climate averages for Ireland 1981–2010. Met {\'e}ireann Climatological Note No. 14. http://www.met.ie/climate-ireland/SummaryClimAvgs.pdf. accessed September, 2017 Wu, S., Kuschk, P., Brix, H., Vymazal, J. and Dong, R., 2014. Development of constructed wetlands in performance intensification for wastewater treatment: A nitrogen and organic matter targeted review. Water Research 57, 40-55 Zhang, D., Jinadasa, K., Gersberg, R., Liu, Y., Ng, W and Tan, S., 2014. Application of constructed wetlands for treatment in developing countries- A review of recent developments. Journal of Environmental Management, 141, 116-131",
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}

Hickey, A, Arnscheidt, J, Joyce, E, o'Toole, J, Galvin, G, o' Callaghan, M, Conroy, K, Killian, D, Shryane, T, Hughes, F, Walsh, K & Kavanagh, E 2018, 'An assessment of the performance of municipal constructed wetlands in Ireland.', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 210, pp. 263-272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.12.079

An assessment of the performance of municipal constructed wetlands in Ireland. / Hickey, Anthony; Arnscheidt, Joerg; Joyce, E; o'Toole, J; Galvin, G; o' Callaghan, M; Conroy, K; Killian, D; Shryane, T; Hughes, F; Walsh, Katherine; Kavanagh, E.

In: Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 210, 15.03.2018, p. 263-272.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - An assessment of the performance of municipal constructed wetlands in Ireland.

AU - Hickey, Anthony

AU - Arnscheidt, Joerg

AU - Joyce, E

AU - o'Toole, J

AU - Galvin, G

AU - o' Callaghan, M

AU - Conroy, K

AU - Killian, D

AU - Shryane, T

AU - Hughes, F

AU - Walsh, Katherine

AU - Kavanagh, E

N1 - Reference text: Babatunde, A., Zhao, Y., O’Neill, M. and O’Sullivan, B., 2007. Constructed wetlands for environmental pollution control: a review of developments, research and practice in Ireland. Environment International, 34, 1, 116-126 Bialowiec, A., Albuquerque, A. and Randerson, P., 2014. The influence of evapotranspiration on vertical flow subsurface constructed wetland performance. Ecological Engineering, 67, 89-94 Brix, H., 1994. Use of Constructed Wetlands in Water Pollution Control: Historical Development, Present Status, and Future Perspectives. Water Science and Technology. 30, 8, 209-223 Brix, H., Schierup, H. 1989. Danish experience with sewage treatment in constructed wetlands. In: Hammer, D.A., ed. 1989, Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. Lewis publishers, Chelsea, Michigan Cooper, P., 1990. European Design and Operation Guidelines for reed bed treatment systems. Prepared for the European Water Pollution Control Association, Water Research Centre Publication Cooper, P., 2007. The Constructed Wetland Association UK database of constructed wetland systems. Water Science and Technology, 56, 3, 1-6 Cooper, D., Griffin, P., Cooper P., 2008. Factors affecting the longevity of sub-surface horizontal flow systems operating as tertiary treatment for sewage effluent. In: Vymazal, J. (ed.), Wastewater treatment, plant dynamics and management in constructed and natural wetlands. Springer, Dordrecht, the Netherlands, 191-198 Debing, J., Lianbi, Z., Xiaosong, Y., Jianming, H., Mengbin, Z., Yuzhong, W., 2009. COD, TN and TP removal of Typha wetland vegetation of different structures. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 18, 183-190 Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 2009. European communities environmental objectives (Surface water) regulations 2009. Available at http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/pdf/2009/en.si.2009.0272.pdf accessed June 2016 Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 2010. Integrated constructed wetlands. Available from: URL: http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/Environment/Water/FileDownLoad,24931,en.pdf accessed January 2016 Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 2015. Urban Waste Water Treatment in 2014. Available from http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/water/wastewater/2014%20waste%20water%20report_web.pdf Doody, D., Harrington, R., Johnson M., Hofmann, O. and McEntee, D., 2009. Sewerage treatment in an integrated constructed wetland. Municipal Engineer, 162, 199-205 Environmental Protection Agency. 1995. Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC). Procedures and criteria in relation to storm water overflows. Available at http://www.epa.ie/pub/advice/wastewater/UrbanWasteWater2.pdf accessed June 2016 Gopal, B., 1999. Natural and Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment: Potentials and Problems. Water Science and Technology., 40, 3, 27-35 Haberl, R., 1999. Constructed Wetlands: Chance to Solve Wastewater Problems in Developing Countries. Water, Science and Technology., 40, 3, 11-17 Kickuth, R., 1977. Degradation and incorporation of nutrients from rural wastewaters by plant rhizosphere under limnic conditions. In: Utilization of Manure by Land Spreading. Comm. Europ. Commun., EUR 5672e, London, UK, pp. 335–343. Knowles, P., Griffin, P., Davies, P., 2010. Complementary methods to investigate the development of clogging within a horizontal sub-surface flow tertiary treatment wetland. Water Research, 44, 320-330 Langergraber, G., 2005. The role of plant uptake on the removal of organic matter and nutrients in subsurface flow constructed wetlands: a simulation study. Water Science and Technology, 51 9, 213-23 Luanaigh, N., Goodhue, R., and Gill, L., 2010. Nutrient removal from on- site domestic wastewater in horizontal subsurface flow reed beds in Ireland. Ecological Engineering, 36, 1266-1276 Mills, G., 2000. Modelling the water budget of Ireland—evapotranspiration and soil moisture. Irish Geography, 33, 99 - 116 O’Hogain, S. and McCarton, L., 2010. The Operation of hybrid reed bed and willow bed combinations in Ireland- Zero discharge and the potential for no monitoring of domestic application of this combination. Proceedings 2nd International Conference on Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater treatment and environmental pollution control. UCD, Dublin. October 2010 United Kingdom Water Industry Research, 2011. A review of the setting of iron limits for wastewater treatment works effluents. Available at http://ukwir.forefront-library.com/reports/11-ww-20-4/93693/94658/90055,90059/90059 accessed October 2015 United States Environmental Protection Agency Manual,1999. Constructed Wetlands Treatment of Municipal Wastewaters. Available from: water.epa.gov/type/wetlands/.../constructed-wetlands-design-manual.pdf Valsero,M., Matamoros,V.,Cardona, R.,Villacorta, J.,Becares, E and Bayona, J., 2014. Comprenhensive Assessment of the design configuration of constructed wetlands for the removal of personnel care products from urban wastewaters. Water Research 44, 3669-3678 Vymazal, J., 200. Types of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment: their potential for nutrient removal. In Vymazal, J. (Ed.) Transformations of Nutrients in Natural and Constructed Wetlands. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp.1-93 Vymazal, J., 2005. Horizontal sub-surface flow and hybrid constructed wetlands systems for wastewater treatment. Ecological Engineering, 25, 478 -490 Vymazal, J., 2007. Removal of nutrients in various types of constructed wetlands. Science of the Total Environment, 380, 48-65 Vymazal, J., 2009. Removal of organics in constructed wetlands with horizontal sub-surface flow: A review of the field experience Vymazal, J., 2013a. The use of hybrid constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment with special attention to nitrogen removal: A review of a recent development. Water Research, 47, 4795-4811 Vymazal, J., 2013b. Emergent plants used in free water surface constructed wetlands: A review. Ecological Engineering, 61, 582-592 Walsh, S., 2012. A summary of climate averages for Ireland 1981–2010. Met éireann Climatological Note No. 14. http://www.met.ie/climate-ireland/SummaryClimAvgs.pdf. accessed September, 2017 Wu, S., Kuschk, P., Brix, H., Vymazal, J. and Dong, R., 2014. Development of constructed wetlands in performance intensification for wastewater treatment: A nitrogen and organic matter targeted review. Water Research 57, 40-55 Zhang, D., Jinadasa, K., Gersberg, R., Liu, Y., Ng, W and Tan, S., 2014. Application of constructed wetlands for treatment in developing countries- A review of recent developments. Journal of Environmental Management, 141, 116-131

PY - 2018/3/15

Y1 - 2018/3/15

N2 - While performance assessments of constructed wetlands sites around the world have appraised their capacity for effective removal of organics, a large variance remains in these sites' reported ability to retain nutrients, which appears to depend on differences in design, operation and climate factors. Nutrient retention is a very important objective for constructed wetlands, to avoid eutrophication of aquatic environments receiving their effluents. This study assessed the performance of constructed wetlands in terms of nutrient retention and associated parameters under the humid conditions of Ireland's temperate maritime climate. A review of the performance of 52 constructed wetland sites from 17 local authorities aimed to identify the best performing types of constructed wetlands and the treatment factors determining successful compliance with environmental standards. Data analysis compared effluent results from constructed wetlands with secondary free surface flow or tertiary horizontal subsurface flow, hybrid systems and integrated constructed wetlands with those from small-scale mechanical wastewater treatment plants of the same size class. Nutrient concentrations in effluents of constructed wetlands were negatively correlated (p <.01) with specific area, i.e. the ratio of surface area and population equivalents. The latest generation of integrated constructed wetlands, which had applied design guidelines issued by the Department of the Environment, performed best. Storm management design features improved treatment performance of constructed wetlands significantly (p <.05) for total suspended solids concentrations and exceedance frequency of limit values for total nitrogen. Mechanical wastewater treatment plants, secondary free surface water and tertiary horizontal subsurface flow wetlands showed a very large variance in effluent concentrations for organic and nutrient parameters. E. coli numbers in effluents were lowest for integrated constructed wetlands with an arithmetic mean of 89 MPN/100 ml. Despite Ireland's humid climate, some constructed wetland sites achieved long or frequent periods of zero effluent discharge and thus did not transfer any waterborne pollution to their receptors during these periods.

AB - While performance assessments of constructed wetlands sites around the world have appraised their capacity for effective removal of organics, a large variance remains in these sites' reported ability to retain nutrients, which appears to depend on differences in design, operation and climate factors. Nutrient retention is a very important objective for constructed wetlands, to avoid eutrophication of aquatic environments receiving their effluents. This study assessed the performance of constructed wetlands in terms of nutrient retention and associated parameters under the humid conditions of Ireland's temperate maritime climate. A review of the performance of 52 constructed wetland sites from 17 local authorities aimed to identify the best performing types of constructed wetlands and the treatment factors determining successful compliance with environmental standards. Data analysis compared effluent results from constructed wetlands with secondary free surface flow or tertiary horizontal subsurface flow, hybrid systems and integrated constructed wetlands with those from small-scale mechanical wastewater treatment plants of the same size class. Nutrient concentrations in effluents of constructed wetlands were negatively correlated (p <.01) with specific area, i.e. the ratio of surface area and population equivalents. The latest generation of integrated constructed wetlands, which had applied design guidelines issued by the Department of the Environment, performed best. Storm management design features improved treatment performance of constructed wetlands significantly (p <.05) for total suspended solids concentrations and exceedance frequency of limit values for total nitrogen. Mechanical wastewater treatment plants, secondary free surface water and tertiary horizontal subsurface flow wetlands showed a very large variance in effluent concentrations for organic and nutrient parameters. E. coli numbers in effluents were lowest for integrated constructed wetlands with an arithmetic mean of 89 MPN/100 ml. Despite Ireland's humid climate, some constructed wetland sites achieved long or frequent periods of zero effluent discharge and thus did not transfer any waterborne pollution to their receptors during these periods.

KW - Constructed wetlands

KW - wastewater treatment

KW - water quality

KW - phosphorus

KW - nitrogen

KW - storm management

KW - specific area

U2 - 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.12.079

DO - 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.12.079

M3 - Article

VL - 210

SP - 263

EP - 272

JO - Journal of Environmental Management

T2 - Journal of Environmental Management

JF - Journal of Environmental Management

SN - 0301-4797

ER -