EXTRACTION CAPACITY OF GRASSES GROWN IN CONSTRUCTED WETLAND SYSTEMS USING DIFFERENT ARRANGEMENTS AND SUBSTRATES

ABSTRACT Constructed wetland systems have been used to treat different wastewater; among their essential components are the cultivated plant species and type of substrate used to fill them. The choice of plant species and type of substrate are important for the good system performance in wastewater treatment. This study aimed to evaluate the extraction capacity of Napier and Tifton 85 grasses when cultivated at different positions in horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands (HSSF-CWs) filled with different substrates in wastewater treatment from a bulk milk-cooling tank (MTWW). The experimental unit consisted of four HSSF-CWs, in which an average surface organic loading rate of 318 kg ha−1 d−1 of BOD5,20 was imposed and a hydraulic holding time of 1.8 and 3.0 d, respectively, in units filled with gravel or crushed PET bottles. Tifton 85 grass presented the highest Na extraction capacity, with better results obtained in HSSF-CWs filled with crushed PET bottles, while Napier grass was more effective in extracting N, K, and P from MTWW. When cultivated in the second half of gravel-filled HSSF-CWs, both grasses provided higher average N extractions when compared to those filled with crushed PET bottles, which had higher extractions in the first half of HSSF-CWs.