A research group at the Technical University of Catalonia has built a constructed wetlands pilot plant in the Laboratory in the Environmental Division. Results obtained will serve to improve the efficiency of future systems.
The pilot plant is constructed such that analysis can be carried out to evaluate the efficiency of different operational parameters.
In our larger cities, complex and highly technical processes are used to treat our wastewater. These conventional treatment plants are expensive and also require a lot of energy.For smaller populations, conventional treatment plants are often not suitable. This may be a function of cost, energy or even the lack of infrastructure or skilled labour, needed to construct and maintain conventional waste water treatment plants.
Constructed wetlands are simple wastewater treatment systems. They consist of shallow tanks filled with a gravel layer and planted with emergent rooted wetland plants such as the common reed. These plants are well-adapted to live in flooded conditions found in wetlands. As the wastewater flows through the gravel and the roots of the reeds, pollutants are progressively removed.
The aim of the pilot plant is scientific research, but it also functions as a demonstration project. Thus the pilot plant serves to encourage the use of constructed wetland technology, while also proving to be a successful educational tool.