Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Daniel Cassidy

Second Advisor

Dr. R.V. Krishnamurthy

Third Advisor

Dr. Duane Hampton

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment have become popular in remote areas. The site wetland is a Subsurface Flow Construted Wetland (SSFCW), where wastewater flows through through a soil of high porosity and emergent plants with deep root systems are intended to bring oxygen to the wastewater. This aeration is universally problematic, causing insufficient nitrogen removal. The wastewater is domestic sewage pumped from the septic tanks, to an aeration tank, and then through two parallel SSFCW cells. Nitrogen removal begins with ammonification, which occurs in the septic tanks. This is followed by nitrification, an aerobic process that only occurs after the carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand is consumed; function of the aeration tank in the absence of aerobic conditions in the SSFCW. Denitrification is the final step occurring in the SSFCW. Data suggested that an increase in aeration will result in an increase in nitrification. Data showed that there was an increase in nitrification in the aeration tank on numerous occasions. Ultimately more time in the oxygenated environment is necessary for nitrification to occur on a regular basis. These results have potential applications for all SSFCWs.

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