(A) The purpose of project’s thesis
The purpose of the research was comparing the improvement of water quality from an effluent by applying a phytodepuration system such as the floating macrophytes filter (FMF) with respect to a facultative system (conventional). The research was performed at the existing secondary pond in the Universidad de Piura (UDEP), Perú.
(B) A summary of the subject(s) of key problem(s) approached
The North-Piura Region from Peru presents severe environmental and health problems in the neighborhood populations to the waste water treatment plants because their low efficiency in the treatment, under minimum standards of quality. It is because (1) an increase in the entry flow to those plants over the design flow, (2) low or zero maintenance by governmental entities, (3) little interaction between governmental entities and the close by populations to those plants, making considering them as dumpsites.
(C) The methodology or procedures used
The methodology consisted in comparing water quality from the effluents resulting from the treatment of two systems: the FMF system and the conventional system. The comparison was performed evaluating 8 parameters: total suspended solids (STS), DBO5, DQO, total nitrogen, total phosphorus and fecal coliforms, conductivity and pH. For that, the secondary pond of the UDEP was divided allowing the functioning of the two systems in parallel.
(D) A summary of the results or conclusions from the project
The results from the research confirm substantial improvements in the efficiency of the treatment of waste water by the FMF system, by evaluating the reduction level of STS, DBO5, DQO, fecal coliforms, total N and total P values, in comparison to the minimum improvements obtained with the conventional treatment.
(E) A summary of the implications of the project or its results
The FMF system would allow improving the efficiency in the already collapsed treatment plants of the Piura Region, and would help expanding their lifespan and reducing the environmental pollution and negative effects in the health of the population. Excellent and economical alternative –without electric power consumption- to improve the adaptation of stabilization ponds on variations of organic load as well as keeping the reliability of the quality of their effluents.
Also, transforming a conventional pond into a wetland of extraordinary landscape value.
(F) Incorporating a science and political dimension
The results allow seeing the improvements that a FMF system can achieve in waste water treatment plants with low efficiency, from a research approach. However, these results will not be relevant in developing countries such as Peru, if parallel to the research, policies are not proposed where its worked out together with the populations around those ponds. The implementation of awareness policies would allow not only the care of those plants, but also stimulating activities of economic, environmental and health improvement of those populations.