Constructed wetlands using aluminium-based drinking water treatment sludge as P-removing substrate : should aluminium release be a concern?

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Title: Constructed wetlands using aluminium-based drinking water treatment sludge as P-removing substrate : should aluminium release be a concern?
Authors: Babatunde, A.O.
Kumar, J.L.G.
Zhao, Y.Q.
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Date: Jun-2011
Online since: 2011-08-26T14:13:59Z
Abstract: This study investigated an important issue of aluminium (Al) release in a novel reuse of Al-based water treatment sludge (Al-WTS) in constructed wetland system (CWs) as alternative substrate for wastewater treatment. Al-WTS is an inevitable by-product of drinking water treatment plants that use Al-salt as coagulant for raw water purification. It has recently been demonstrated that Al-WTS can be reused as a low-cost phosphorus (P) adsorbent and biofilm carrier in CWs for wastewater treatment. However, to facilitate the large scale application of Al-WTS in CWs as wetland substrate, concerns about Al leaching during its’ reuse in CWs must be addressed as Al is a dominant constituent in Al-WTS. In this study, a desk review of literature on Al release during Al-WTS reuse was conducted. Furthermore, a 42-week Al monitoring was carried out on a pilot field-scale CWs employing Al-WTS as main substrate. Results show that 22 out of the 35 studies reviewed, reported Al release with levels of soluble Al reported ranging from 0.01 to about 20 mg L-1. Monitoring of Al in the pilot field-scale CWs shows that there was Al leaching. However, except for the first three weeks of operation, effluents concentrations of both total- and soluble-Al were all below the general regulatory guideline limit of 0.2 mg L-1. Overall, the study addresses a very vital concern regarding the successful application of Al-WTS in CWs and shows that Al release during such novel reuse is quite low and should not preclude its use.
Funding Details: Other funder
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: RSC Publishing
Journal: Journal of Environmental Monitoring
Volume: 13
Issue: 6
Start page: 1775
End page: 1783
Copyright (published version): Royal Society of Chemistry 2011
Keywords: AluminiumAlum sludgeConstructed wetlandsLeachingWater treatment sludgeWastewater treatment
Subject LCSH: Aluminum
Water treatment plant residuals
Constructed wetlands
DOI: 10.1039/C1EM00001B
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Urban Institute Ireland Research Collection
Critical Infrastructure Group Research Collection
Civil Engineering Research Collection

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