Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 8019–8027 | Cite as

Vertical flow wetlands and hybrid systems for the treatment of landfill leachate

  • Nahuel Ernesto Camaño SilvestriniEmail author
  • Hernán Ricardo Hadad
  • María Alejandra Maine
  • Gabriela Cristina Sánchez
  • María del Carmen Pedro
  • Sandra Ester Caffaratti
Research Article


Landfill leachates contain a variety of toxic compounds, which makes them one of the most difficult types of wastewater to be treated. An alternative “green” technology for leachate treatment is the use of constructed wetlands (CWs). The aims of this study were to select macrophytes and substrates to be used in vertical flow wetlands (VFWs) and to evaluate the performance of hybrid systems composed by a VFW and a horizontal subsurface flow (HSSW) or a free water surface flow (FWSW) wetlands for the treatment of a high ammonium concentration landfill leachate. In microcosms scale experiments, Typha domingensis, Scirpus californicus, and Iris pseudacorus were studied to assess their tolerance to raw and diluted leachate. Substrate selection for VFWs was evaluated using different layers of light expanded clay aggregate (LECA), coarse sand, fine sand, and gravel. Contaminant removals were higher in planted than in unplanted wetlands. Plants did not tolerate the raw effluent but showed a positive effect on plant growth when exposed to the diluted leachate. T. domingensis and I. pseudacorus showed higher contaminant removal ability and tolerance to landfill leachate than S. californicus. VFW with LECA + coarse sand showed the best performance in removal efficiencies. Hybrid system composed by VFW-FWSW planted with T. domingensis presented the best performance for the treatment of landfill leachate with high concentrations of ammonium.


Macrophytes Substrates Ammonium Constructed wetlands 


Funding information

Funds for this work were provided by Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL), and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nahuel Ernesto Camaño Silvestrini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hernán Ricardo Hadad
    • 1
  • María Alejandra Maine
    • 1
  • Gabriela Cristina Sánchez
    • 1
  • María del Carmen Pedro
    • 1
  • Sandra Ester Caffaratti
    • 1
  1. 1.Quimica Analitica, Instituto de Quimica Aplicada del Litoral (IQAL, UNL-CONICET), Facultad de Ingeniería QuímicaUniversidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL)-Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Santa FeArgentina

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