Spatial variation of physicochemical parameters in a constructed wetland for wastewater treatment: An example of the use of the R programming language


Pennisetum alopecuroides
oxidation-reduction potential
dissolved oxygen
Artificial Wetland System of superficial Flow

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Pérez-MolinaJ. P., ScholzC., Pérez-SalazarR., Alfaro-ChinchillaC., Abarca MéndezA., Araya LeitónL., Carranza ChavesJ., Echevarría FigueroaA., Elizondo BlancoM., Ardón RiveraR., Flores AguilarS., & Solís CalderónC. (2021). Spatial variation of physicochemical parameters in a constructed wetland for wastewater treatment: An example of the use of the R programming language . UNED Research Journal, 13(1), e3294.


Introduction: The implementation of wastewater treatment systems such as constructed wetlands has a growing interest in the last decade due to its low cost and high effectiveness in treating industrial and residential wastewater. Objective: To evaluate the spatial variation of physicochemical parameters in a constructed wetland system of sub-superficial flow of Pennisetum alopecuroides (Pennisetum) and a Control (unplanted). The purpose is to provide an analysis of spatial dynamic of physicochemical parameters using R programming language. Methods: Each of the cells (Pennisetum and Control) had 12 piezometers, organized in three columns and four rows with a separation distance of 3,25m and 4,35m, respectively. The turbidity, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), ammoniacal nitrogen (N-NH4), organic nitrogen (N-org.) and phosphorous (P-PO4-3) were measured in water under in-flow and out-flow of both conditions Control and Pennisetum (n= 8). Additionally, the oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), dissolved oxygen (DO), conductivity, pH and water temperature, were measured (n= 167) in the piezometers. Results: No statistically significant differences between cells for TKN, N-NH4, conductivity, turbidity, BOD, and COD were found; but both Control and Pennisetum cells showed a significant reduction in these parameters (P<0,05). Overall, TKN and N-NH4 removal were from 65,8 to 84,1% and 67,5 to 90,8%, respectively; and decrease in turbidity, conductivity, BOD, and COD, were between 95,1-95,4%; 15-22,4%; 65,2-77,9% and 57,4-60,3% respectively. Both cells showed ORP increasing gradient along the water-flow direction, contrary to conductivity (p<0,05). However, OD, pH and temperature were inconsistent in the direction of the water flow in both cells. Conclusions: Pennisetum demonstrated pollutant removal efficiency, but presented results similar to the control cells, therefore, remains unclear if it is a superior option or not. Spatial variation analysis did not reflect any obstruction of flow along the CWs; but some preferential flow paths can be distinguished. An open-source repository of R was provided.


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