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Monitoring drainage water quality during green roof irrigation trials using synthetic greywater

Smith, M. and Hyde, K. (2016) Monitoring drainage water quality during green roof irrigation trials using synthetic greywater. British Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 6 (2). pp. 138-148. ISSN 2231-4784

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To link to this item DOI: 10.9734/BJECC/2016/18189

Abstract/Summary

Aims: To evaluate the potential for substituting green roof mains water irrigation by irrigation using lightly loaded synthetic greywater. Study Design: The planted green roof system was designed to be operated and tested within a glasshouse. Place and Duration of Study: Schools of Engineering, and Plant Sciences, The University of Reading, for 28 days commencing 28th of May 2012. Methodology: A trial was conducted for comparing two planting schemes using Sedum and Stachys Byzantina and a third unplanted control. The three sets of growing boxes were subdivided between substrate depths of 10cm and 20cm. By further subdivision, half of each set were watered using mains water, and half using a synthetic greywater. The soil composition and water quality of the drainage (filtrate) water were monitored. Statistical analysis of the results was conducted. Results: Consistency was observed in influent pH and EC, in both mains and greywater samples. Influent Na concentrations were higher in the greywater samples due to detergent content. The Na mass balance calculations for all boxes showed that some Na mass was unaccounted for when comparing aggregated concentrations in influent, plant tissue and soil with the aggregated Na mass in filtrate, plant tissue and soil water. It was concluded that this was likely to be due to retained/ponded irrigation water in the boxes, difficulties in attaining homogenous box flushing and the underestimation of soil Na. The variation in substrate depth affected all results. The plants themselves seemed to have little significant influence on the measured parameters, with the exception of the accumulation of Na mass in plants irrigated with greywater. Conclusion: No improvement was observed in the quality of the greywater following filtration through the soil matrix. For longer term watering using greywater, a choice of Na resistant species should be considered, although the Sedum species used in this trial showed no recorded adverse growth effects due to Na accumulation.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Innovative and Sustainable Technologies
ID Code:67433
Publisher:Science Domain International
Publisher Statement:© 2016 Smith and Hyde; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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