In many countries, there are limited or insufficient wastewater treatment infrastructures. Floating wetlands can be a cost-effective plant-microbe-based-remediation approach to treat various types of wastewater. The performance of full-scale systems for treating genuine wastewater is largely unknown because studies so far have been experimental.
To this end, Dr. Arslan with his collaborators studied performance of full-scale floating treatment wetlands in stabilization ponds receiving sewage (60%) and industrial (40%) wastewater in the third biggest city of Pakistan, Faisalabad. The treatment performance of floating wetlands was evaluated over a period of three years.
What was found is that floating wetlands promoted a substantial improvement of all recorded water quality indicators and a reduction of heavy metal concentrations in the effluent compared to the influent. The performance was optimal in the second and third years of operation during which about 60 million m3 per year of wastewater was treated at a cost of US$0.00026 per m3. Their study demonstrated that floating treatment wetlands are an appropriate ecotechnology for the large-scale cleanup of sewage and industrial wastewater.
Dr. Muhammad Arslan an environmental microbiologist working on biological wastewater treatment using passive and nature-based solutions. His key research area is to study the interaction between plants and microbes for environmental cleanup without disturbing nature. He is also studying the evolution of specific microbes when exposed to recalcitrants in the environment.
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