ISSN: 1659-2751



Evaluation of the Effect of Wastewater from the New Septage Treatment System on the Artificial Wetland at EARTH University’s Landfill


For the treatment of its domestic residual waters, EARTH University created a pilot plant for the stabilization of septage. The plant is located at the site of the university’s landfill. After stabilization, the residual water from the plant enters the stream of wastewater leachates from the landfill, into a collection tank, and this residual water receives further treatment in a sand filter followed by an artificial wetland. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of this additional wastewater on the artificial wetland. Macroinvertebrate sampling indices [biomonitoring for the calculation of the BMWP’-CR (Biological Monitoring Working Party, modified for Costa Rica) and ASPT (Average Score per Taxon)] and a subjective analysis of the aquatic plants in the artificial wetland, before and after the implementation of the pilot plant were studied. In the macroinvertebrate study, the greatest numbers of invertebrates encountered in the artificial wetland were from the following groups: Gastropoda, Coleoptera, Ephemeroptera and Hemiptera. The results of the biomonitoring of the artificial wetland, the BMWP’-CR values, indicated that the waters were very contaminated, and the ASPT values indicated the water was contaminated with organic material. The aquatic plants Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth), Limnocharis flava (lily) and Salvinia minima (spangles) recolonized the artificial wetland after the site had been cleaned and after the pilot plant had begun its operations of the septage treatment.

Key words: ASPT (Average Score per Taxa), BMWP’-CR (Biological Monitoring Working Party), septage.

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