IWA Publishing

The use of constructed wetlands for the treatment and reuse of urban wastewater for the irrigation of two warm-season turfgrass species under Mediterranean climatic conditions

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Constructed wetlands (CWs) represent low-cost technology for the treatment and reuse of wastewater in urban areas. This study aimed to evaluate the pollutant removal efficiency of a CW system and to assess the effects of irrigation using treated urban wastewater on soil and on two warm-season turf species. The research was carried out in Sicily (Italy) on a pilot-scale horizontal subsurface flow system which was fed with treated urban wastewater following secondary treatment from an activated-sludge wastewater treatment plant. The pilot system was located in an open urban park and comprised two separate parallel planted units. Experimental fields of Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. and Paspalum vaginatum Sw. were set up close to the system and irrigated with both treated wastewater (TWW) and freshwater (FW). Irrigation with TWW did not result in a significant variation in soil pH and soil salinity in the topsoil. The turf species tolerated high sodium levels in the soil due to TWW irrigation. Savings in FW and mineral fertilizers were deemed significant. The results highlight the fact that use of CW systems for the treatment and reuse of wastewater can represent a sustainable way to obtain alternative water resources for turfgrass irrigation in urban areas.

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