Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 9697–9706 | Cite as

Purification of water contaminated with Hg using horizontal subsurface constructed wetlands

  • Rajendra Prasad Singh
  • Jiaguo Wu
  • Dafang FuEmail author
Research Article


As a global pollutant, Hg (Hg) since the turn of the last century has received increased attention. Decreasing the emission of Hg into the food chain and the atmosphere is an effective way to reduce the Hg damage. The current study provided information about pilot-scale horizontal subsurface flow (HSSF) constructed wetlands (CWs) to remove different Hg species in polluted water. Synthetic wastewater was fed to two HSSF CWs, one was planted with Acorus calamus L and the other was unplanted as a control. The total Hg (THg), dissolved Hg (DHg), and particulate Hg (PHg) from five sites along the HSSF CWs were analyzed to describe the process of Hg removal. Results show that the CWs have high removal efficiency of Hg which is more than 90%. The removal efficiencies of THg and DHg from the unplanted CW were 92.1 ± 3.6% and 72.4 ± 13.1%, respectively. While, the removal efficiencies of THg and DHg in planted CW were 95.9 ± 7.5% and 94.9 ± 4.9%, which were higher than that in blank CW. The PHg was mainly removed in the first quarter of the CWs, which was also revealed by the partition coefficient Kd. To a certain extent, the effect of plants depends on the hydraulic retention time (HRT). The results in the current study show the potential of the HSSF-CWs for restoration from Hg-contaminated water.


Horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetland Hg species Hydraulic retention time Removal efficiency Phytoremediation 


Funding information

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China NSFC Grants (No. 51550110231, 51650410657).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajendra Prasad Singh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiaguo Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dafang Fu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Municipal Engineering, School of Civil EngineeringSoutheast University (SEU)NanjingChina
  2. 2.SEU-Monash Joint Research Centre for Future CitiesNanjingChina

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