chapter
49 Pages

Phytoremediation Using Constructed Treatment Wetlands: An Overview

WithAlex J. Horne, Maia Fleming-Singer

Water pollution is endemic to human activities, ranging from urban industrial and municipal point source discharges to non-point source discharges from agriculture, logging, and mining. Ecological engineering, with its emphasis on sustainable energy sources and acceleration of pollution amelioration using natural treatment systems, offers a relatively low cost alternative for large-scale treatment of non-point source pollution in particular, but also that of point sources. Phytoremediation in wetlands was first reported in 1952, with the possibility of decreasing over-fertilization, pollution, and silting up of inland waters through appropriate plant mediation. In contrast to terrestrial phytoremediation the accumulation of heavy metals in plant tissue is less used in wetland phytoremediation since the other methods are easier and less costly. Phytoremediation employs sustainable sunlight energy and photosynthesis to transform harmful substances into harmless forms.