Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Marco A. Rodríguez Domínguez: Studies about Mexican and Latinamerican packing materials used in Constructed Wetlands (CW) for wastewater treatment with special emphasis in CW biomass productivity

Seminar: Akvatisk biologi

27.02.2019 | Anne Kirstine Mehlsen

Dato tor 28 feb
Tid 09:45 09:45
Sted Institut for Bioscience, Ole Worms Allé 1, bygning 1135-234

Foredragsholder: Marco A. Rodríguez Domínguez


Water pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges in the developing countries and of course, in Latin-American (Latam). According to Noyola et al., (2012), in Latam, 81% of the wastewater is treated by one of the following systems: stabilization ponds, activated sludge, or upflow anaerobic sludge blanket. Moreover 67% of the plants are small (influent flow <25 L/s) or very small facilities (influent flow <5 L/s), which represents low energy efficiency and consequently, higher operational costs. Taking this into consideration, Constructed Wetland (CW) seems to be adequate solution to the flow needs, affordable and sustainable wastewater treatment systems for Latam, since the technology is known for its simplicity, affordability and that requires low operation and maintenance, while capable to remove many of the existent pollutants in the wastewater to produce good quality treatment if properly designed. (Arias & Brix, 2005; Arrubla Vélez et al., 2016; Lyu et al., 2018; Vymazal, 2014; Vymazal et al., 1998).

In Latam, and specially Mexico, there seems to be a gap between the current use of the CW Technology and other technologies. Conversely, the Mexican government is still recommending only Horizontal Subsurface Flow Wetlands and surface Flow Wetlands (CONAGUA, 2017) and not taking into considerations new developments in the technology. There is lack of information and training dealing with more advance CW developments.

On the other hand, some studies have reported good results for some CW in Mexico, (Gutiérrez-Sarabia, et. al, 2004; Hernández, 2016; Rivas & Paredes, 2014; Zaldívar-Jiménez, et. al., 2012). Unfortunately, the studies are not focused on the capacity of the materials or plants used, and they just report general performances of CWs

To abridge this technology gap and lack of information, is important to develop specific studies regarding materials, plants and kinetics to better understand the performance under Mexican and Latam conditions. This study take into consideration the available materials used in the region to design and build CW, to obtain performance information that can be applied to optimize the designs to fit  Mexican and Latam conditions, while ensuring the required performance for wastewater treatment.

As part of the aim of the research, is also important to elaborate a reference background related with the state of art of CW technology in Latam. This study will be elaborated with the collaboration of the Panamerican Constructed Wetland Network, to access to the most important information in each region or country, to have a better description of the current state of the technology around the continent.

This study will also look, not only at the potential of CWs as to treat polluted waters but also to use the biomass produced by the CW vegetation to increase attractiveness and economic sustainability of CW technology and to improve the local implementation.


Institut for Bioscience, Offentligheden / Pressen, Medarbejdere