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Sustainable technology for the biological treatment of waste

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:37 authored by Julia Collings
In this study the microbiological aspects of constructed wetlands were investigated during treatment of industrial effluents, using experimental reed beds in the UK, and also during the installation of reed beds for a commercial company in Ghana. The results showed that the microbiology of a reed bed is affected by the type and concentration of effluent that it is used to treat. Observational study, effluent treatment analysis and microbiological investigation of reed bed substrate, under various loading conditions, revealed that there may be an effect exerted by certain fractions of industrial waste streams that were detrimental to reed flora and the microbiological fauna of the reed beds. Inhibition of the microbial community of the reed bed substrate occurred in the reed beds treating factory effluent which were found to have had a significantly reduced microbial community in terms of colony forming units when compared to the reed beds treating domestic effluent. Treatment efficiency for biological oxygen demand ranged from 48-93%.;In the UK, treatment of landfill leachate and tannery effluent showed that reed beds are effective in reducing effluent parameters such as chemical oxygen demand and total nitrogen. Treatment performance for landfill leachate showed total nitrogen reduction ranging from 37-97%. Chemical oxygen demand treatment efficiency ranged from 28-95%. Treatment performance in terms of total nitrogen reduction in tanner effluent ranged from 66-99%, and for chemical oxygen demand 53-87%.


Date of award


Author affiliation

University College Northampton

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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