The operational principle of VUF system is based on the concept of traditional submerged vertical flow constructed wetlands. By combining different filter materials, compact filters can be built that require far less surface area. In order to develop these systems, the working principles and treatment processes occurring in wetlands need to be better understood and translated to the more efficient filter material(s) used in VUF.
As the removal of heavy metals, pathogens and micropollutants is essential for safe water reuse and social acceptance/perception, the removal processes of these pollutants will get special attention in our project. To further understand and improve pollutants’ removal, the various physical, chemical and biological processes that occur in VUF will be researched.
Different filter materials and plants will be tested for removal efficiencies for various pollutants. Using the most promising plants and filter materials, a small scale VUF will be constructed. Using this system, different mechanisms, such as adsorption, biodegradation and inactivation involved in pathogen and other pollutants’ removal will be studied.
This pilot filter will be able to treat up to 100 litres of wastewater per day. The gained knowledge will then be used to design and construct a larger pilot plant. Ultimately, a compact, nature-based, wastewater (post-) treatment system in India, will be developed and implemented that can handle up to 1000 litres per day.