Submitted to: International Conference on Wetland Systems for Water Pollution Control
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Most livestock wastewaters treated in constructed wetlands are typically rich in ammonium N. The objective of this study was to evaluate the soil-water ammonium distribution and the diffusive flux through the soil-water interface. Wetland system 1 (WS1) was planted to rush and bulrushes, and wetland system 2 (WS2) was planted to bur-reed and cattails. Nitrogen was applied at a rate of 2.5 g/cubic meter/d. Interstitial soil water was sampled at 9, 24, 50, and 70 m from the inlet. In both wetlands, we found that ammonia diffusion gradient and N losses were highest in the wetland system with lowest water depth. From other studies, we knew that shallower depths may have promoted a more effective interfacing of nitrifying and denitrifying environments. In turn, this N reduction in the water column may be the reason for steady ammonia-N upward diffusion fluxes. The assumed mechanism for N removal has been nitrification and denitrification but ammonia volatilization could also have occurred. Although diffusion may explain a significant portion of the material transport between the soil-water interface, the large differences in concentrations between outlet and inlet need further explanation.