عنوان مقاله [English]
Although the conventional (primary and secondary) treatment processes are known to remove up to 95–99% of some micro-organisms, they do not provide adequate treatment to make the effluent suitable for direct reuse, mainly due to the presence of high concentrations of pathogenic microorganisms. Obtaining reusable effluents, therefore, requires the use of processes that can be justified both technical and economic grounds. One such indigenous, low cost option is the land-plant process that can be used for advanced wastewater treatment. It is the objective of the present study to determine the efficiency of the local soil in Ahvaz and that of the vetiver plant in reducing the microbial load in the effluent from municipal wastewater treatment plants. A pilot study was thus carried out including three Lysimeters installed in West Ahvaz Wastewater Treatment Plant. Local soil was used in one Lysimeter, local soil with vetiver plant in the second one, and an artificial assortment of soil comprising local soil, silica sand (0.5-1mm), and sand (15-30mm) in the third. In addition, the effluent from the secondary settling outlet at the WTP was transferred by pumping at the three filtration rates of 0.2, 0.6, and 1 ml/min into the system with three replications for each rate and samples were collected from both inlet and outlet flows. The average removal efficiencies of Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and Total Coliform (TC) in the effluent from the three Lysimeters with local soil with vetiver, local soil without vetiver, and artificial soil assortment for the filtration rate of 0.2 ml/min were: 67.75% and 99.7%, 58.33% and 99.6%, and 56.25% and 99.5%, respectively. For a filtration rate of 0.6 ml/min, these values were: 53.33% and 98.93%, 48.8 and 98.77%, and 47.68% and 98.64%. Finally, the values obtained for a filtration rate of 0.6 ml/min were: 50% and 93.96%, 46.42 and 91.34%, and 44/04% and 88/81%, respectively. The results from the study showed that the Lysimeter with local soil and the vetiver plant recorded the best removal efficiency for a filtration of 0.2 ml/min. Thus, it may be concluded that the land-plant system as an advanced treatment process is capable of producing effluents that meet discharge quality permit limits and therefore, it is an economical process using the advantages of advanced treatment if enough and available lands possible.