BPA and NP removal from municipal wastewater by tropical horizontal subsurface constructed wetlands

A. F. Toro-V??lez, C. A. Madera-Parra, M. R. Pe??a-Var??n, Y. W. Lee, J C Bezares-Cruz, W. S. Walker, H. C??rdenas-Henao, S. Quesada-Calder??n, H. Garc??a-Hern??ndez, Piet N L Lens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

54 Scopus citations


It has been recognized that numerous synthetic compounds like Bisphenol A (BPA) and nonylphenols (NP) are present in effluents from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) at levels of parts per billion (??g L-1) or even parts per trillion (ng L-1) with a high potential to cause endocrine disruption in the aquatic environment. Constructed wetlands (CW) are a cost-effective wastewater treatment alternative with promising performance to treat these afore mentioned compounds. This research was aimed to evaluate the efficacy of CW treatment of WWTP effluent for mitigating the effects endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs). This research goal was accomplished by (1) quantifying the removal of BPA and NP in CWs; (2) isolating CWfungal strains and testing for laccase production; and (3) performing endocrine disruption (reproduction) bioassays using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Three pilot scale horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands (HSSF-CW) were operated for eight weeks: one planted with Phragmites australis; one planted with Heliconia psitacorum; and one unplanted. The Heliconia CW showed a removal efficiency of 73.3(??19%) and 62.8(??20.1%) for BPA and NP, respectively; while the Phragmites CW demonstrated a similar removal for BPA (70.2 ?? 27%) and lower removal efficiency for NP 52.1(??37.1%).The unplanted CW achieved 62.2 (??33%) removal for BPA and 25.3(??37%) removal for NP. Four of the eleven fungal strains isolated from the Heliconia-CW showed the capacity to produce laccase. Even though complete removal of EDCs was not achieved by the CWs, the bioassay confirmed a significant improvement (p b 0.05) in fly viability for all CWs, with Heliconia sp. being the most effective at mitigating adverse effects on first and second generational reproduction. This study showed that a CW planted with a native Heliconia sp. CWdemonstrated a higher removal of endocrine disrupting compounds and better mitigation of reproductive disruption in the bioassay.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationScience of the Total Environment
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)1879-1026 (Electronic)\r0048-9697 (Linking)
StatePublished - Jan 15 2016

Publication series

NameScience of the Total Environment


  • Bisphenol A
  • Constructed wetlands
  • Endocrine disrupting compounds
  • Nonyl-phenol
  • Phytoremediation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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