Biological Wastewater Treatment for Prevention of River Water Pollution and Reuse: Perspectives and Challenges

  • N. K. Singh
  • G. Gupta
  • A. K. Upadhyay
  • U. N. Rai


Wastewater discharge with high biological oxygen demand (BOD) and high nutrient levels (e.g., nitrate, phosphate) affects water quality and is a major reason for degradation of water bodies, including rivers. In addition, metals and other toxic elements are also concentrated in aquatic bodies due to the continuous disposal of wastewater that is treated or partially treated. In many developing countries, wastewater treatment facilities are not fully operational due to energy crises and improper maintenance. However, under the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act, maximum permissible limits have been established for the disposal of different pollutants into surface water bodies. Therefore, the appropriate treatment of wastewater containing various pollutants is mandatory before its disposal into a body of water. Conventional methods of wastewater treatment use sewage treatment plants; however, they may be unable to treat wastewater properly and completely due to their higher cost and maintenance requirements. In this case, green plant-based technologies such as phytoremediation, the development of constructed wetlands, and algal pond systems may perform key roles in treating wastewater by removing nutrients and toxic metals before their discharge into rivers. By implementing plant-based, low-cost, and eco-friendly technologies for the treatment of wastewater at the source of origin up to a permissible level of discharge, we can prevent the pollution of surface water bodies and recycle the treated water in agriculture for irrigation, gardening, and other purposes.


Wastewater treatment Water pollution Reuse Plant Phytoremediation 



The author is thankful to the Dean and Director of the School of Basic Sciences at Manipal University, Jaipur, India, for providing facilities.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. K. Singh
    • 1
  • G. Gupta
    • 1
  • A. K. Upadhyay
    • 2
  • U. N. Rai
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Science discipline, Department of ChemistryManipal University JaipurJaipurIndia
  2. 2.Plant Ecology and Environmental Science DivisionCSIR-National Botanical Research InstituteLucknowIndia

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