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Environmental Engineering Research 2023;28(3): 220154 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2022.154
Effects of Vegetation and Saturated Zone in Cascaded Bioretention on Enhancing Nutrient Removal
Manal Osman1,2  , Husna Takaijudin1, Arash Massoudieh3, and Hui Wen Goh4
1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, 32610 Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia
2Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Bahri, 12217 Khartoum-North, Khartoum, Sudan
3Department of Civil Engineering, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC, United States
4River Engineering and Urban Drainage Research Centre (REDAC), Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia
Corresponding Author: Manal Osman ,Tel: +60-1671-955-48, Email: manal_17005662@utp.edu.my
Received: April 5, 2022;  Accepted: May 28, 2022.
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Bioretention is a water management practice that is increasingly being applied for runoff quality control. Although previous Bioretention studies have used some techniques to improve nutrient removal, some nutrients still leach out. Therefore, this study used Cascaded Bioretention (CB) by connecting three Bioretention columns in series. The planted Bioretention Column was retrofitted by adding a subsurface drainage module (SDM) below the gravel layer to create a dual saturated zone. This study aimed to investigate the effect of the number of treatments, vegetation, and modified saturated zone on enhancing nutrient removal from agricultural runoff and to understand nutrient removal mechanisms. The removal efficiencies of NH3-N, NO3-N, NO2-N, and TN improved to 89.8%, 49.7%, 49.2%, and 53.4%, respectively. The only negative removal was ON, which significantly decreased by incorporating vegetation and a modified saturated zone. Increasing the number of treatments significantly enhanced TN and ON while maintaining stable removal for other nitrogen compounds. However, phosphorus was less sensitive to increasing the number of treatments. Nitrogen removal could be enhanced by different removal processes such as nitrification, denitrification, mineralization, assimilation by plant uptake, and Anammox. However, phosphorus removal was less complicated, as adsorption and infiltration are likely to be the main removal mechanisms.
Keywords: Agricultural runoff | Cascaded Bioretention | Nutrient Removal | Saturated Zone | Treatment | Vegetation
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