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Zhang Z.,University of Western Australia | Rengel Z.,University of Western Australia | Meney K.,Syrinx Environmental Pty Ltd.
Journal of Hazardous Materials | Year: 2010

The growth of emergent wetland plants may be influenced by toxic organic pollutants, which would influence the extent of phytoremediation when used in constructed wetlands. A series of glasshouse experiments were conducted to investigate the influence of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on the growth of various emergent wetland species. The response of species to PAHs varied significantly. A significant interaction (species × PAH treatment) was observed for relative growth rates (RGRs) of Baumea juncea, Baumea articulata, Schoenoplectus validus and Juncus subsecundus in hydroponics with naphthalene, and of B. juncea and J. subsecundus in soils freshly spiked with phenanthrene and pyrene. In hydroponics, biomass of B. articulata significantly increased in the treatments with relatively low addition of naphthalene, whereas that of S. validus significantly increased with all naphthalene additions. In both hydroponics and soils, the growth of B. juncea increased with the PAH (phenanthrene and pyrene) additions, whereas that of J. subsecundus decreased in the treatments with relatively high concentrations of PAHs. The removal of PAHs from soil was not affected significantly by J. subsecundus after 70 days of growth and B. juncea after 150 days of growth. The growth of J. subsecundus was slightly (but not significantly) influenced by the PAH residues in soil. The effect of PAHs on wetland plant growth could be species-specific regardless of PAH types and media. The response of species to PAHs needs to be taken into account when selecting species for wetlands constructed for phytoremediation. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source


Zhang Z.,University of Western Australia | Rengel Z.,University of Western Australia | Meney K.,Syrinx Environmental Pty Ltd.
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution | Year: 2010

Emergent wetland plant species may exhibit different capacity for phytoremediation when used in constructed wetlands. To evaluate cadmium (Cd) remediation capacity of four emergent wetland species [Baumea juncea (R.Br.) Palla, Baumea articulata (R.Br.) S.T. Blake, Schoenoplectus validus (M.Vahl) A. & D.Löve, and Juncus subsecundus N.A. Wakef.], a glasshouse experiment was conducted in hydroponics to investigate the effects of Cd (0, 5, 10, and 20 mg L-1) on plant growth and Cd uptake and translocation as well as uptake of other nutrients after 14 days. The relative growth rates of the three species changed little in various Cd treatments, but was severely inhibited for B. juncea at 20 mg Cd per liter treatment. Hence, the Cd tolerance index (root length in Cd treatment vs. control) was significantly lower in B. juncea compared to other species. Among the species, the highest concentration of Cd was in the roots of J. subsecundus, followed by S. validus, B. articulata, and B. juncea, while the lowest concentration of Cd was in the S. validus shoots. Of all the species, J. subsecundus had the highest bioconcentration factor (BCF) in shoots, whereas S. validus and B. juncea had the lowest BCF in rhizomes and roots, respectively. The translocation factor was significantly lower in S. validus compared to the other species. J. subsecundus had a higher Cd accumulation rate than the other species regardless of the Cd supply. The lowest allocation of Cd in shoots was recorded for S. validus and in roots for B. juncea. The concentrations of other elements (P, S, Ca, Fe, Cu, and Zn) in shoots decreased with Cd additions, but the interactions between Cd and other elements in roots varied with the different species. These results indicate that the four wetland species have good tolerance to Cd stress (except B. juncea at high Cd exposure), varying in Cd accumulation and translocation in tissues. These properties need to be taken into account when selecting species for wetlands constructed for phytoremediation. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source


Meney K.,Syrinx Environmental Pty Ltd. | Pantelic L.,Syrinx Environmental Pty Ltd.
International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning | Year: 2015

Conventional approaches to water supply and wastewater treatment in regional towns globally are failing due to population growth and resource pressure, combined with prohibitive costs of infrastructure upgrades. However, there are complexities associated with implementing sustainable infrastructure solutions, and a need to simplify the decision making process to equally compare alternatives to business-As-usual solutions. The aim of this study was to develop a model which could assist in delivering sustainable infrastructure solutions in regional towns (and elsewhere) to facilitate growth and/or reduce the burden on limited resources. The developed model (Sustainable Infrastructure Decision Model, SIDM) ultimately organises intelligent inputs (from expert stakeholders and quantitative calculations) systematically and holistically in order to compare relative impacts, risks, costs, and benefits of varying solutions. In this sense, it deviates both from the 'black box' designs of many other sustainability tools, which requires trust of hidden data and formulas and from heuristic approaches that often 'set up' a subjective game of bias between stakeholders. Rather, SIDM is based on a transdisciplinary system approach which facilitates informed decisions in a transparent manner. It links water, wastewater, energy, and waste (resource flows) along with stakeholders (consumers, producers), the receiving environment (receptors), and governing systems (managers, politicians, regulators, financers). Key to the approach is the use of local context analysis as a 'design' driver, along with equal consideration of stakeholder intent, capacity, and commitment. The model also includes an economic analysis and risk-based evaluation process to ensure that the preferred solution is optimised to the environmental, social, economic, and political setting of a particular town. The SIDM model was applied to a rapidly growing Australian township (Hopetoun) with complex resource and infrastructure constraints, which is described in this paper as a case study. Use of SIDM resulted in an agreed decentralised solution which was approximately half of the cost of a conventional solution, with considerable water and energy savings and unanimous stakeholder support. Since this project, SIDM has been applied to other regional towns and urban developments in Australia. . © 2015 WIT Press. Source


Zhang Z.,University of Western Australia | Rengel Z.,University of Western Australia | Liaghati T.,Western Australia | Antoniette T.,Western Australia | Meney K.,Syrinx Environmental Pty Ltd.
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2011

The type of plant species and the presence of a submerged zone (SZ) with carbon (C) addition may influence nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) removal in stormwater biofilters under wet-dry climatic patterns. A glasshouse experiment using two plant species (Baumea juncea and Melaleuca lateritia) with/without SZ and C addition, in addition to two plant species (Baumea rubiginosa and Juncus subsecundus) and a no-plant as control with SZ and C addition was conducted to investigate the removal of NH4-N, NOx-N, total dissolved N (TDN) and total N (TN) and filterable reactive P (FRP), total dissolved P (TDP) and total P (TP) from the stormwater in biofilter columns during 20 months of plant growth and 16 months of water sampling runs. All plants grew vigorously and developed well in the biofilters, but plant growth and nutrient removal (except for NH4-N and FRP removal) were enhanced in the planted treatments with rather than without SZ. The removal of N was significantly higher in the planted treatments with SZ than in the no-plant treatment with SZ. The removal of TP significantly increased in the treatments with SZ regardless of the plant presence or absence. Although different plant species contributed differently to nutrient removal from the stormwater, it was not possible to discriminate the relative performance of the four plant species with SZ. The benefits of a SZ with C addition for nutrient removal in the planted biofilters could be due to increased denitrification and improved plant growth. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source


Zhang Z.,Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Zhang Z.,University of Western Australia | Rengel Z.,University of Western Australia | Liaghati T.,Western Australia | And 2 more authors.
Desalination and Water Treatment | Year: 2013

The metal removal in stormwater biofilters may be influenced by the type of vegetation and the presence of a submerged zone (SZ) with carbon (C) addition under wet-dry seasonal climatic patterns. A glasshouse experiment using two plant species (Baumea juncea and Melaleuca lateritia) with/without SZ and C addition, and three planting treatments (Baumea rubiginosa, Juncus subsecundus, and no-plant as control) with SZ and C addition was conducted to investigate the metal removal from the stormwater in biofilter columns. After 20 months of growth, plant growth was better in the presence of SZ than absence. The removal of copper (Cu) and lead (Pb) significantly increased in the biofilters with SZ, but Zn removal was not significantly influenced regardless of type of vegetation. Although the metals accumulated differently in the various plant species, it was not possible to discriminate relative performance in terms of metal removal among the plant species. Dissolved oxygen (DO) and pH in the outflows were significantly influenced by the type of vegetation and the presence of SZ. Hence, further study is needed to elucidate the different adsorption and retention of metals in media in relation to variations of redox and pH in biofilters under wet/dry seasonal climatic patterns. Furthermore, studies under the field conditions are needed to verify the findings. © 2013 Copyright Balaban Desalination Publications. Source

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