Effect of Water Velocity on Hydroponic Phytoremediation of Metals

P. Weiss, A. Westbrook, J. Weiss, J. Gulliver, D. Biesboer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The influence of flow velocity on the uptake of cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc by hydroponically grown soft stem bulrush (Scirpus validus) was investigated. The roots of the plants were exposed to a continually recycled, nutrient enriched, synthetic stormwater. Plants were divided into groups and the roots of each group exposed to different but constant water velocities. The metal concentrations in the roots and stems were compared after three weeks. Metal accumulation in roots was increased for water velocities between 1.3 and 4.0 cm s−1. In a second experiment, the roots of all plants were exposed to a single velocity and the root and stem metal concentrations were determined as a function of time. Metal concentrations in the roots approached a constant value after three weeks. After this time, accumulation of metals depends upon root growth. The results suggest that long-term accumulation by the roots of hydroponic Scirpus validus can be increased by increasing water velocity, which implies that floating islands with movement will retain more metals from the water column.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-217
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Adsorption
  • Bioconcentration Factor
  • Bulrush
  • Scirpus validus
  • stormwater


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