Microbial water quality improvement by small scale on-site subsurface wetland treatment

Rita L. Nokes, Charles P. Gerba, Martin M. Karpiscak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


It has been demonstrated that large constructed wetlands used for domestic wastewater treatment are useful in the reduction of enteric microorganisms. This study evaluated the ability of three small-scale, on-site subsurface wetlands with different vegetation densities to remove total coliforms, fecal coliforms, coliphage, Giardia and Cryptosporidium. These wetlands were found to be equally efficient in the removal of enteric bacteria and coliphage as larger constructed wetlands. Giardia and Cryptosporidium were usually undetectable after passage of the wastewater through the subsurface wetlands. Coliphage removal increased with increasing vegetation density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1849-1855
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2003


  • Coliphage
  • Constructed wetland
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Giardia
  • On-site treatment
  • Sub-surface wetland
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering


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