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Title: "Wetlands: Water Living Filters?",
Authors: Dordio, Ana
Palace, A. J.
Pinto, Ana Paula
Editors: Russo, Raymundo E.
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Nova Science Publishers
Abstract: Human societies have indirectly used natural wetlands as wastewater discharge sites for many centuries. Observations of the wastewater depuration capacity of natural wetlands have led to a greater understanding of the potential of these ecosystems for pollutant assimilation and have stimulated the development of artificial wetlands systems for treatment of wastewaters from a variety of sources. Constructed wetlands, in contrast to natural wetlands, are human-made systems that are designed, built and operated to emulate wetlands or functions of natural wetlands for human desires or needs. Constructed wetlands have recently received considerable attention as low cost, efficient means to clean-up not only municipal wastewaters but also point and non-point wastewaters, such as acid mine drainage, agricultural effluents, landfill leachates, petrochemicals, as well as industrial effluents. Currently, untreated wastewater discharge in the natural wetlands sites is becoming an increasingly abandoned practice whereas the use of constructed wetlands for treatment of wastewater is an emerging technology worldwide. However, natural wetlands still play an important role in the improvement of water quality as they act as buffer zones surrounding water bodies and as a polishing stage for the effluents from conventional wastewater treatment plants, before they reach the receiving water streams. In fact, one of the emerging issues in environmental science has been the inefficiency of wastewater treatment plants to remove several xenobiotic organic compounds such as pesticides and pharmaceutical residues and consequent contamination of the receiving water bodies. Recent studies have shown that wetlands systems were able to efficiently remove many of these compounds, thus reaffirming the importance of the role which can be played by wetlands in water quality preservation. The aim of this work is to present a review on the application of wetlands as “living” filters for water purification, with special emphasis focused in the removal of micropollutants, especially xenobiotic organic compounds such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides residues, which are not efficiently removed by conventional wastewater treatment plants. Furthermore, the role of wetlands as protection zones which contribute to the improvement of the aquatic ecosystems’ quality will be discussed.
Type: bookPart
Appears in Collections:MED - Publicações - Capítulos de Livros

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