Arsenic and metal removal using constructed wetlands
(2009 – current)
Katherine Lizama Allende
The presence of arsenic in water supplies poses a risk to human health. Arsenic is well known for its chronic toxicity, particularly when exposure occurs over prolonged periods. Millions of people throughout the world are currently drinking water with arsenic concentrations above 10 ug/L – the World Health Organisation guideline. Other pollutants such as boron can also limit the use and reuse of water resources, either by natural or anthropogenic pollution. In many cases, treatment of contaminated water is limited due to isolated location of the water streams and the elevated investment and operation costs of conventional technologies.
Constructed wetlands are low-energy consumption ‘green’ systems that have been increasingly applied in wastewater treatment since the mid 1980s, and they have the potential to remove metals and metalloids, but it has not been sufficiently studied. This project therefore aims to investigate the potential of subsurface flow constructed wetlands for removing arsenic, boron and iron from contaminated water.