Use of Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment

The provision of sanitation is a key development intervention –without it, ill-health dominates a life
without dignity. Simply having sanitation increases health, well-being and economic productivity.
Inadequate sanitation impacts individuals, households, communities and countries. As part of sanitation
intervention, wastewater generated at household and other establishments is usually treated to
conform to environmentally accepted standards. The high costs of some conventional wastewater
treatment processes has produced economic pressures and has caused engineers to search for creative,
cost-effective and environmentally sound ways to control water pollution. Processes and systems like
constructed wetlands that require low energy and labor costs are therefore, becoming attractive
alternatives for many wastewater treatment applications.
However, in developing countries like Kenya, innovative technologies like constructed wetlands have
not yet been widely adopted for wastewater improvement. This study presents literature on how
constructed wetlands can be exploited as an alternative in wastewater treatment.
The project explains the different processes involved in the removal of pollutants present in wastewater.
It goes further to provide the equations involved in the sizing the CW to ensure that the wastewater is

treated to the required standards.
The advantages of use of CW have also been discussed at length, and also the limitations to the use of
this technology in wastewater treatment. This project study goes to further give examples on the
various places in Kenya where CWs have been used for wastewater treatment, some dating as early as
Performance studies have shown that CW are efficient in removal of BOD5 by up to 85%,
suspended solids by up to 83%, and feacal coliforms up to 99%. Considerable amounts of
metals, nitrogen and phosphorous are removed. (Vymazal, 2005)


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