Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Integrated Biological bed protects surface water

Many centralized wastewater treatment plants are aging and in need of upgrading. Furthermore, conventional septic tank/field systems have proven inadequate for wastewater treatment due to high ground water tables or poor soil percolation rates. Thus, less energy intensive and more environmentally sound ways of treating wastewater and conserving potable water are needed.
Integrated Biological bed protects surface water
It has long been known that natural wetland such as marshes, swamps, and bogs helps protect water quality. Taking this into consideration, artificially constructed wetland systems mimic the treatment that occurs in natural wetlands by relying on plants and a combination of naturally occurring biological, chemical, and physical processes to remove pollutants from water.

Plaur, which means float, was introduced to hydrobiology to determine the community of green plants free floating on lake surfaces. The plants are capable of surviving periodic exposure and submersion in temperate, shallow lakes. Their contact with soil is not necessary for survival. Their roots form a mass that attaches itself to the shallow parts of the reservoir and formulates part of a biome comprised of living matter. This matter acts as a filter by separating substances absorbed in the water. The plaur community consists also of a great number of invertebrates and microorganisms living in the root zone; this community forms active biological bed able to efficiently breakdown organic matter and nutrients assimilation from water.

The invertebrates and mircoorganisms, which also make up the plaur community, form an active biological bed known as a biocenosis that can efficiently breakdown organic matter and nutrients assimilation from water.

Plaur offers a broad range of applications in water treatment technologies. In order to further expand its practical applications, plaur should be reinforced with artificial plastic structures or Integrated Biological Beds (IBB). These reinforced biological beds can support the growth of plants and protect the entire community from mechanical stresses such as pollution as well as grazing by carnivores. Clearly, IBB offers a wide array of advantages from protecting the ecosystem to cleaning up polluted water.
Record Number: 81379 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Environment