Winery wastewater treatment by constructed wetlands and the use of treated wastewater for cash crop production

A R Mulidzi
Water Science and Technology: a Journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research 2007, 56 (2): 103-9
A 45 m long, 4 m wide and 1 m deep wetland was constructed at Goudini in 2002 to treat distillery and winery effluent. After the plants were fully established, the wastewater with an average chemical oxygen demand (COD) of 14,000 mg/l was introduced to the wetland system at a rate of 4,050 litres per day. After treatment, wastewater at the outlet had an average COD of 500 mg/l, indicating more than 90% COD removal. After treatment, the wastewater was used to irrigate cash crops as part of poverty alleviation for farm workers. The experiment consisted of four treatment: clean irrigation water with fertilizer applied (B1); clean irrigation water without fertilizer applied (B2); wastewater irrigation with fertilizer applied (B3); and wastewater irrigation without fertilizer applied (B4). These were replicated seven times. Cabbage was cultivated as a cash crop. The results indicated that cabbage could be irrigated with winery wastewater treated by wetlands. The study found that there was significant difference between treatments that were fertilized compared with those that were not fertilized. The results indicated that wastewater irrigation improved the nutritional status of the soil.

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