Effects of salinity on treatment of municipal wastewater by constructed mangrove wetland microcosms

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Yan Wu
  • N. F Y Tam
  • M. H. Wong


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-734
Journal / PublicationMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number6-12
Publication statusPublished - 2008


The effects of salinity on the removal of dissolved organic carbon and nutrients from municipal wastewater by constructed mangrove microcosms planted with Aegiceras corniculatum were investigated. During the four-month wastewater treatment, the treatment efficiency was reduced by high salinity, and the removal percentages of dissolved organic carbon, ammonia-N and inorganic N dropped from 91% to 71%, from 98% to 83% and from 78% to 56%, respectively, with salinity increasing from 0 to 30 parts per thousands (ppt). In spite of such inhibition at high salinity, 100% of the effluents discharge from the constructed mangrove microcosms still complied with the discharge standards set by the Hong Kong Government for Coastal Water Control Zones. These results suggested that constructed mangrove wetland treatment systems were promising to effectively treat municipal wastewater, even those with high salinity. In addition, the denitrification potential in soil was found to be retarded by the high salinity while mangrove plants grew best at 15 ppt salinity condition. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Aegiceras corniculatum, Dissolved organic carbon (DOC), Mangroves, Nutrients, Salinity