W. Halicki, A. Zając, K. Kita


Over the past dozen of years, Poland saw the construction of a number of waste treatment plants, variously estimated at about 10,000, in which the major role is played by plant life. Of these, almost 6,000 operative units are a combination of constructed wetlands and treatment ponds, often described as a solution peculiar to Poland. They are one of the most widespread, compact and repeatable sewage treatment systems based on natural methods. A decided majority of these facilities are small-scale treatment plants, but the above period also saw the construction of several high-capacity plants able to accept amounts of sewage ranging from 50 to 1,000 PE.  The facilities are used to treat municipal sewage from individual localities or various kinds of service buildings. The presentation discusses three different examples of varied technological solutions, all of which are based on the constructed wetland and treatment pond technologies. The article puts particular emphasis on the abundance of different technological variants which natural systems can offer provided that the technology is well mastered. Experience and familiarity with the technology allow unlimited possibilities of developing technology systems characterized not merely by specific legal requirements but frequently by the manner of reusing the treated sewage.

The second part of the presentation notes the treatment efficiency offered which in some cases can hardly be achieved in typical treatment systems. The resulting effluent quality may for example meet bathing water quality criteria, which shows that use of different variants of constructed wetlands and treatment ponds allows eliminating pollution almost entirely. Thanks to the appropriate technological system and the very high treatment efficiency the output water can be reused e.g. to flush toilets or irrigate green areas.

The last part of the presentation calls attention to the possibility of simultaneous use of combined constructed wetlands and treatment ponds as recreational facilities or facilities with particular natural or aesthetic qualities. Each of the presented treatment units meets one of the above criteria.

Key words:

wastewater treatment, waste natural, re-use of waste water