A Review On Sub-Surface Flow Constructed Wetlands In Tropical And Sub-Tropical Countries

Dadan Sudana Wijaya


Water pollution is mostly caused by direct disposal of waste to the ground or river without prior treatment. Several methods had been proposed to overcome the pollution, e.g. by treating the waste prior disposal or by applying artificial wetland systems (constructed wetlands) to treat domestic wastewater. Artificial wetland systems (constructed wetlands) resembles water treatment processes in natural wetlands, that utilizes hydrophytes to symbiose with the microorganisms in the media around the rhizosphere of the plants. A good example of the plant is Cyperus alternifolius, a plant that grows rapidly in wet environments. This plant has a triangular stem, with adult stem height ranged between 0.5-1.5 m. Organic materials contained in the wastewater will be cleaved by the microorganisms into simpler compounds and will be consumed by the plants as a nutrient, while the root system of aquatic plants will produce oxygen that can be used as a source of energy or catalyst for a series of metabolic processes for heterotropic aerobic microorganism. In general, horizontal flow SSF-Constructed Wetlands (hSSF-CW) is being used continuously and applied in many tropical countries. SSF-CW is a good choice for wastewater treatment due to its low maintenance costs and simple operational.


Cyperus alternifolius, rhizosphere, water pollution, wetlands

Full Text:



APHA, 2005. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. 21st Edition. American Public Health Association, Washington, DC. USA.

Begg JS, Lavigne RL, Veneman PLM, 2000. Phragmites Reed Beds: Constructed Wetlands for Municipal Wastewater Treatment – European Perspective. In 7th Int. Conf. on Wetland System for Water Pollution Control. University of Florida, pp. 1035-1041.

Brix, H, 1994. Constructed Wetlands for Municipal Wastewater Treatment in Europe. In: Mitsch, W.J. (Ed.), Global Wetlands; Old World and New. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 325-334.

Brix, H, 1997. Do Macrophytes Play a Role in Constructed Treatment Wetlands? Water Science Technology, 35(5): pp. 11-17.

Brix, H. 1989. Gas Exchange through Dead Culms of Reed, Phragmites autralis (Cav.) Trin. Ex Steudel. Aquat. Bot. 35, pp. 81-98.

Crites and Tchobanoglous, G. 1998. Small and Decentralized Wastewater Management System: Wetlands and Aquatic Treatment Systems, McGraw-Hill, Singapore.

Campbell, C.S. and M.H Ogden, 1999. Constructed Wetlands in Sustainable Landscape. John Wiley and Sons, New York, ISBN: 9780471107200, Pages: 270.

Cooper, P.F. 2005. The Performance of Vertical Flow Constructed Wetland System with Special Reference to the Significance of Oxygen Transfer and Hydraulic Loading Rates. Water Science and Technology, 51(9): pp. 81-90.

Cooper, P.F; Job, G.D; Green, M.B and Shutes, R.B.E. 1996. Reed Beds and Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment. WRc Publications, Medmenham, UK.

Dallas, S. 2006. Constructed Wetland for Wastewater Treatment. Workshop of Sustainable Sanitation and Wetland Technology, 2006. ITC Murdoch University, IEMT Universitas Merdeka Malang.

Dallas, S; Scheffe. B and Ho, G. 2005. Reed Beds for Grey Water Treatment – Case Study in Santa Elena Monteverde Costa Rica. Central America. Ecol. Eng. 23, pp. 55-61.

Davison, L; Headley, T and Pratt K. 2005. Aspect of Design, Structure, Performance and operation of Reed Beds – 8 Years’ Experience in Northeastern New South Wales, Australia. Water Science and Technology, 51: pp. 129-138.

Davison, L; Point, D; Bolton. K and Headley, T. 2006. Dealing with Nitrogen in Subtropical Australia: 7 Case Studies in The Diffusion of Eco-technological Innovation. Ecological Engineering, 28: pp. 213-223.

Drizo A, Frost C.A, Smith K.A and Grace J. 1996. Phosphate and Ammonium Removal by Constructed Wetlands with Horizontal Subsurface Flow, Using Shale as a Substrate. In 5th Int. Conf. on Wetland System for Waste Pollution Control, Vienna, I/10-1-8.

EPA. 1999. Manual: Constructed Wetlands Treatment of Municipal Wastewaters. National Risk Management Research Laboratory. Cincinnati, Ohio.

Faulkner, S.P; Richardson, C.J. 1989. Physical and Chemical Characteristic of Freshwater Wetland Soils. In: Hammer, D.A; Freeman, R.J (Eds.), Constructed Wetland Treatment. Lewis Publisher, Chelsea, Michigan, pp. 41-72.

Fraser, L.H; Carty S.M and Steer. D. 2003. A Test for Plant Species to Reduce Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorus from Soil Leachate in Subsurface Wetland Microcosms. Bioresour Technology. 2004, 94, pp. 185-192.

Garcia, J; Rousseau, D.P; Morato, J; Lesage E.L.S, Matamoros, V and Bayona, J.M. 2010. Contaminant Removal Process in Subsurface-flow Constructed Wetlands: A Review. Crit. Rev. Environ. Sci. Technology. 40, pp. 561-661.

Gersberg, R.M; Gearhart, R.A and Ives, M. 1989. Pathogen Removal in Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment. In: Hammer, D.A; Freeman, R.J (Eds.), Constructed Wetland Treatment. Lewis Publisher, Chelsea, Michigan, pp. 431-446.

Gray, K.R; Biddlestone, A.J; Job, G and Galanos, E. 1990. The Use of Reed Beds for the Treatment of Agricultural Effluents. In: Cooper, P.F and Findlater, B.C. (Eds.), Constructed Wetlands in Water Pollution Control. Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp. 333-346.

Greg, W. Young, R. and Brown, M. 1998. Constructed Wetlands Manual, Vol. 1. Department of Land and Water Conservation. University of New South Wales. Australia.

Haberl, R. and Langergraber, H. 2002. Constructed Wetlands: a Chance to Solve Wastewater Problems in Developing Countries. Wat. Sci. Tech. 40, pp.11-17.

Hammer D.A. 1989. Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment. Lewis Publisher, Boca Raton, CRC Press. Florida.

Hammer D.A and Knight, R.L. 1992. Designing Constructed Wetlands for Nitrogen Removal. In: Proc. 3rd Int. Conf. Wetland System in Water Pollution Control. University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, pp. 3.1-3.37.

Hammer, M.J. 1986. Water and Wastewater Technology SI Version. John Willey and Sons, Singapore.

Ismuyanto, B. 2010. Pencemaran Karena Pembangunan (Materi Seminar).

Johansen, N.H and Brix, H. 1996. Design Criteria for a Two-stage Constructed Wetlands. In: Proc. 5th Int. Conf. Wetland System for Water Pollution Control. Universität Für Bodenkultur. Wien, Austria. Chapter IX/3.

Kadlec, R.H. 1994. Overview: Surface Flow Constructed Wetlands. In: Proc. 4th Int. Conf. Wetland System for Water Pollution Control, ICWS Secretariat, Guangzhou, P.R China, pp. 1-12.

Kadlec, R.H and Knight, R.L. 1996. Treatment Wetlands. CRC Press, Lewis Publisher. Boca Raton, Florida.

Khiatuddin, M. 2003. Melestarikan Sumber Daya Air Dengan Teknologi Rawa Buatan. Gajah Mada University Press, Yogyakarta.

Kivasi, A.K. 2001. The Potential for Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in Developing Counties: A Review. Ecol. Eng. 16, pp. 545-560.

Knight, R.L; Clarke, R.A and Bastian, R.K. 2000. Surface Flow Treatment Wetlands as a Habitat for Wildlife and Humans. Wat. Sci. Tech. 2000. 44, pp. 27-38.

Knight. R.L; Payne, V.W.E; Borer, R.E, Clarke R.A and Pries, J.H. 2000. Constructed Wetlands for Livestock Wastewater Management. Ecol. Eng. 2000. 15, pp. 41-55.

Leady, B. 1997. Constructed Subsurface Flow Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment. Purdue University.

Lemke, C. 1999. Plant of the Week: Cyperus alternifolius Umbrella Plant. Accessed on www.ou.edu.com.

Lukito, A.M. 2004. Merawat dan Menata Tanaman Air. Agro Media Pustaka. Jakarta.

Metcalf and Eddy, 2003. Wastewater Engineering: Treatment, Disposal and Reuse. 4th Edition, Int. Edition, McGraw-Hill. New York.

Mirunalini, V; Sudarsan, J.S; Deeptha, V.T and Pramaguru, T. 2014. Role of Integrated Constructed Wetland for Wetland for Wastewater Treatment. Asian Journal of Applied Sciences. 7(6): 448-452

Mitchel, C.R; Wiese and Young, R. 1998. Constructed Wetlands Manual Vol. 2, Chapter 17 (Design of Wastewater Wetlands), pp. 258-259. Department of Land and Water Conservation, University of New South Wales. Australia.

Mukhlis. 2003. Studi Kemampuan Tumbuhan Air Phragmites australis, Thypa angustifolia dan Cyperus alternifolius dalam Sistem Constructed Wetland untuk Menurunkan COD dan TSS Air Limbah. Tesis Program Pasca Sarjana Program Studi Teknik Lingkungan Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Surabaya.

Raude, J.B; Mutua, M; Chemelil, L; Kraft, K and Sleytr. 2009. Household Grey Water Treatment for Urban Areas of Nakuru Municipality, Kenya. Journal of Sustainable Sanitation Practice, 2009. 1, pp. 10-15. EcoSan Club. Austria.

Sarafaz, S; Mohammad, T.A; Megat, J; Noor, M and Liaghat, A. 2009. Wastewater Treatment Using Horizontal Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetland. American Journal of Environmental Science. 5(1), pp. 99-105.

Sharma, G. Priya and Brighu, U. 2014. Performance Analysis of Vertical Up-Flow Constructed Wetlands for Secondary Treated Effluent. Elsevier Journal, APCBEE Procedia. 10(2014), pp. 110-114.

Sheikh, B. 2011. Use of Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment and Water Recycling – Application to Saudi Arabian Conditions. Water Reuse Consultant, San Francisco, California. USA.

Spradata, 2005. Pengolahan Limbah Domestik Menggunakan Tanaman Cyperus alternifolius dalam Sistem Lahan Basah Buatan Aliran Bawah Permukaan. Universitas Diponegoro. Semarang.

Suprihatin, H. 2014. Penurunan Konsentrasi BOD Limbah Domestik Menggunakan Sistem Wetland dengan Tanaman Hias Bintang Air (Cyperus alternifolius). Dinamika Lingkungan Indonesia, pp. 80-87.

Suswati, A.C.S.P dan Wibisono, G. 2013. Pengolahan Limbah Domestik dengan Teknologi Taman Tanaman Air (Constructed Wetlands). Indonesian Green Journal Vol. 2 No.2, pp. 70-77.

Tangahu, B.V dan Warmadewanthi, I.D.A.A. 2001. Pengolahan Limbah Rumah Tangga dengan Memanfaatkan Tanaman Cyperus alternifolius dalam Sistem Constructed Wetland. Volume 2 No. 3, ITS. Surabaya.

Tencer, Y; Idan, G; Strom, M; Nusinow, U; Banet, D; Cohen, E; Schroder, P; Shelef, O; Rachmilevitch, S and Soares, I. 2009. Establishment of a Constructed Wetland in Extreme Dryland. Environmental Science Pollutant Res. 2009. 16, pp. 862-875.

Verhoeven, J.T.A and Meuleman, A.F.M. 1999. Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment: Opportunities and Limitations. Elsevier Journal. Ecol. Eng. 1999. 12, pp. 5-12

Vymazal, J. 2008. Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment: A Review. The 12th World Lake Conference, pp. 965-980.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.23954/osj.v1i2.415


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Open Science Journal (OSJ) is multidisciplinary Open Access journal. We accept scientifically rigorous research, regardless of novelty. OSJ broad scope provides a platform to publish original research in all areas of sciences, including interdisciplinary and replication studies as well as negative results.