Our modern lifestyle provides us the luxury of using various products to make our lives more comfortable and easier, but it comes at a price. A common byproduct of our current lifestyle includes wastewater, which can either be in the form of water running down the shower or runoff from wet roads. This wastewater is unfit for human consumption or use. Clean water is used and discouraged without any treatment. Wastewater is left untreated because of the high installation and operational cost of conventional wastewater treatment plants. For wastewater treatment, the solution is the development of low-cost, efficient, and environmentally friendly technology for the remediation of wastewater. Industrial waste is discharged affecting life.

Different physical methods are previously used in wastewater treatment like Screening, mixing, flocculation, sedimentation, flotation, filtration, and gas transfer operation units are used.

Chemical methods are used in treating water by converting chemicals to fewer toxic compounds through different chemical reactions called precipitation, adsorption, and disinfection.

The physical, mechanical, and chemical treatment of wastewater is costly and required proper operating units and technicians. Compared to these techniques, floating treatment wetlands are quite beneficial. Its uses plants in combination with bacteria.

Floating treatment wetlands:

In floating treatment wetlands, plants are grown on a floating mat, whereas roots are hanging in the water column. The extended roots in the water body offer plants the ability to create direct contact between contaminants and the roots-associated microbial community. The suspended roots in water accelerate the sedimentation process by trapping suspended particles and reducing the water turbulence. The roots grow horizontally and vertically to provide a large surface area for nutrient uptake and biofilm enlargement. The associated microbial community degrades complex organic matter into simple components which are removed through the combined action of plants and microbes. Floating treatment wetlands in assistance with bacterial consortium can be a promising alternative and green technology for the remediation of oil refinery effluent.

Microbes attached to the roots degrade organic proteins such as drug residues, detergent dyes, and other proteins, and these components are degraded by microbes. Plants act as biofilters and absorb heavy metals from the water into their roots. These roots cause the sedimentation of organic and inorganic compounds at the bottom of ponds.

Plant-microbe interaction breaks down complex compounds into simple nutrients, mobilizes metal ions, and increases the uptake of pollutants by plants. The inoculation of the roots of plants with acclimatized microbes may improve the phytoremediation potential of FSWs.

Preference of Floating treatment wetlands over other wastewater treatment processes:

Floating treatment wetlands are used in stormwater ponds, wastewater lagoons, landfill leachate, tailing ponds, and site of oil spills.

Floating treatment wetlands are beneficial to use as compared to other systems used for wastewater treatment because they consist following factors.

  • Low cost
  • Simple design, operation, and maintenance
  • Self-sustainable
  • Increases in the beauty of the site
  • Biodiversity
  • Green space
  • Improve the quality of wastewater
  • Saving chemicals and energy

About the Author: Hadia Fatima has done her Bachelors of Science in Biotechnology from Government College University Faisalabad. She is highly passionate to motivate youth to save the environment. She is from Pakistan and tries to engage readers through the best and latest information containing blogs.