Nitrate removal in wetland microcosms

Todd L. Ingersoll, Lawrence A. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


The effect of hydraulic loading rate (HLR; 5 to 20 cm day-1) and carbon addition (1-6 g dried plant material per week) was determined at two temperatures (28°C and 35°C) in 18 flow-through sediment-water wetland microcosms that were fed nitrate-contaminated water (30 mg N L-1). Nitrate removal efficiencies varied from 8% to > 95%, decreasing with increasing HLRs and increasing with increasing carbon addition rates. The effect of HLR and carbon addition rate were integrated into the C:N ratio, which alone was highly predictive of nitrate removal efficiency. As nitrate removal efficiencies increased, dissolved organic carbon in the effluent also increased, as did chloroform formation potential. Nitrate-treatment wetlands may be a feasible method of remediating nitrate-contaminated groundwater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-684
Number of pages8
JournalWater Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998


  • Constructed wetlands
  • Denitrification
  • Groundwater remediation
  • Nitrate
  • Trihalomethanes

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