Analysis of Microbial Communities in Constructed Wetlands
Bacteria are known to play a variety of roles in constructed wetlands, particularly in regards to their removal of contaminants and improvement of water quality. Despite the importance of bacteria to the operation of constructed wetlands, the microbial communities in these systems remains poorly known. Investigating the composition bacterial communities in constructed wetlands will contribute to our understanding how these systems function. By integrating microbial community surveys with water quality data, significant insight can be gained into the most effective methods for constructed wetlands design and operation. The proposed study will us NGS DNA sequencing to sample the microbial communities in the City of Oxnard's AWPF to determine what bacteria are present and how microbial communities respond to the introduction of RO concentrate.
Need and Benefit
Use of constructed wetlands is increasing as a tool for wastewater treatment in a variety of contexts. As demand for water in the western United States continues to grow and water supplies remain limited, the value of water reuse is likely to increase, including through constructed wetlands treatment. A key aspect of constructed wetlands function is microbial bioremediation, with bacteria playing significant roles in nutrient transformation of contaminant sequestration, improving water quality as it moves through the system.
Characterizing the microbial communities in constructed wetlands and their connection to chemical and physical parameters will aid in operation of wetlands and design of future projects. Expertise developed in NGS DNA analysis of microbial communities will also important to other future TSC projects.
The City of Oxnard's AWPF facility currently provides a unique opportunity to monitor the development microbial communities in a pilot treatment wetlands as RO brine is first introduced. Comparing the development of bacteria in the wetlands to measures of water quality will help inform what aspects of the constructed wetlands are most effective, and help inform decisions on the design and operation of this and other constructed wetlands projects, including choice of media and wastewater loading rates.
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