CHARACTERIZATION OF CLOGGING MATERIAL FROM HORIZONTAL SUBSURFACE FLOW CONSTRUCTED WETLAND SYSTEMS

ABSTRACT This study aimed to characterize the material composition responsible for clogging the porous medium of horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetland (HSSF–CW) systems, which is detrimental to a proper system operation. Six completely clogged HSSF–CWs were used after treatment of swine wastewater. Operating conditions of these systems were named CW–C (HSSF– CW 1 and HSSF–CW 4, non-cultivated, i.e. controls), CW–T (HSSF–CW 2 and HSSF–CW 5, cultivated with Tifton 85 (Cynodon spp.)), and CW–A (HSSF–CW 3 and HSSF–CW 6, cultivated with alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides)). The results showed that most of the clogging material was composed of total fixed solids (95, 84, and 82% in CW–C, CW–T, and CW–A, respectively). However, total volatile solids (TVS) mostly affected pore clogging. The larger accumulations and productions of TVS in CWs might have originated from dead plants.