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    Constructed wetland (CW) has been proved to be a reliable wastewater treatment technology for removal of various contaminants. However, the removal of specific contaminants such as steroid hormones by wetlands without optimized design parameters would be unstable. Here we investigated the removal mechanism of steroid hormones by constructed wetlands, and optimized various design parameters for the removal of these contaminants in wastewater. Four CW systems with different designs (artificial aeration or series wetland unit) were constructed outdoors to treat raw domestic sewage. The results showed that 9 steroid hormones were detected at concentrations from 7.13 ± 0.28 ng/L to 3040 ± 199 ng/L, with their removal rates ranged from 14.7 ± 3.04% to 100% by these CWs. It was also found that enhanced designs including aeration and series wetland unit can effectively improve the removal of steroid hormones. Combined with ecological risk assessment, CW4 (aerated VSSF CW and aerated HSSF CW combination) was the best design for removal of steroid hormones, but CW2 (VSSF CW with artificial aeration) may be better for urban areas with limited space. Based on mass balance calculation, biodegradation played a dominant role in removing steroid hormones by CWs, while substrate adsorption and plant uptake also played a limited role. The findings from this study suggest that CWs can be optimized to better remove steroid hormones in sewage before discharge into receiving environments. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Jun Chen, Shuang-Shuang Liu, Yi-Jie Wang, Jie Li, You-Sheng Liu, Fang Yang, Guang-Guo Ying. Optimized constructed wetlands enhance the removal and reduce the risks of steroid hormones in domestic wastewater. The Science of the total environment. 2021 Feb 25;757:143773

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    PMID: 33234274

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