International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 4, Issue 6, June-2013 2868

ISSN 2229-5518

Comparative Analysis of Hydrocotyle umbellata, Pistia stratiotes & Eichhorina crassipess for the Removal of

Contaminants in Domestic Wastewater

1Haroon Ur Rasheed, 2Bilawal Rasheed, 1Naureen Aurangzeb, 2Dr. Ayub khan and 1Dr. Ahmad Hussain

1Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

2Department of Agriculture Sciences, University of Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan


The aim of the present study was to determine the performance of aquatic macrophytes in the treatment lagoons at NARC, Islamabad. The analytical procedure given by APHA (2005) was followed for the determination of physical parameters (pH, EC


and TDS) and chemical parameters (Cl-1, SO2-1 and NO3

) of the domestic wastewater. Rhizofilteration efficiency of the

experimental plants was in sequence as Pistia stratiotes>Eichhornia crassipess>Hydrocotyle umbellatta at average temperature of 33oC while Pistia stratiotes and Eichhornia crassipess showed maximum removal efficiency at 31oC whereas Hydrocotyle umbellatta at 35oC. This biologically treated domestic wastewater can be used for irrigating farmlands and parks.

Keyword: Hydrocotyle umbellata, Pistia stratiotes, Eichhorina crassipess, contaminants, domestic, wastewater


Domestic waste containing household effluent and human waste is either discharged directly to sewer system, natural drain, water body, a nearby field or an internal septic tank. Pakistan, an agriculture-based country once had surplus water, is currently a water deficit country as per capita water availability in 1951 was 5300 m3 but recently reduced to 1105 m3, just touching the water scarcity level of 1000 m3 (SOER,
2005).Out of the total available fresh water 88% alone is used for irrigation (Gleick, 2000). Pakistan has a total of 77 million acres of land suitable for irrigation out of which 71% is already cultivated, but the remaining 29% can become dynamic if water made available for irrigation (PIDAT, 2003). Therefore, the country is in dire need to sustainably use and conserve this precious resource. The 3R principle of reuse, recycle and reduce may be helpful in achieving the objectives as ten large urban centers of Pakistan produces more than 60% of the total urban wastewater including household, industrial and commercial wastewater (WB-CWRAS, 2005) out of which only 8% is treated in municipal treatment plants (Feestra et al.,
Domestic waste water contain various chemicals promotes plant / crop growth when present in permissible limits. During the last two last decades, the reuse of treated water for irrigation has exhausted, particularly in arid and semi- arid regions. Wastewater has usually the higher quantity of these chemicals which adversely affect the soil, crops quality (Khwakaram, 2010). Nitrate is an important constituent of chlorophyll, protoplasm, protein, amino acids, nucleic acid and growth hormones. An excess of nitrate leads to more vegetative growth and cause lodging. Excessive nitrate contents, higher than 100 mg/litre,
may affect transplants and sensitive crops at the initial growth stage (WHO, 2004). Serious public health problems rose due to the use of wastewater. Wastewater carries a wide range of pathogenic organisms posing a risk to agriculture workers, crop handlers and consumers. High level of nitrogen in wastewater results in nitrate pollution of groundwater, which could lead to adverse effects on human health (Blumenthal et al., 2001).
Chloride helps plants to metabolize. The accumulated chloride concentration in leaves exceeds the crop's tolerance, injury symptoms develop in the form of leaf burn. This starts at the tips of leaves and progresses from the tip back, along the edges, as the severity increases. In extreme cases chloride toxicity manifests itself in early leaf drop. Crop quality is affected by chloride-induced leaf injury in plants whose leaves are the marketed product, or where fruit size and appearance are affected by chloride-induced yield decreases (Imran, 2005).
Sulfate is used for protein synthesis, enzyme reaction and energy transfer. A plant injured by excessive sulfate first displays mottled leaves or yellowed tissue between the veins of leaves. This is followed by leaves that are dead at their tips, at their margins, and in areas between their veins. Excessive sulfate concentration may lead to laxative effect and it affects the alimentary canal (Purushotham et al., 2011).

Hydrocotyle umbellatta common name is pennywort belongs to family Apiaceae. It is free- floating aquatic plant. It reproduces from fragments and seeds and can spread across the soil or water in large mats (Afrous et al., 2010). Pistia stratiotes common name is water lettuce belongs to family Araceae. It is

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ISSN 2229-5518

free-floating aquatic plant. It is a free- floating plant that is capable of forming dense mats on the surface of lakes, ponds, rivers and other bodies of water (Moore,
2005). Eichhorina crassipess common name is water hyacinth belongs to family Pontederiaceae. It is free- floating aquatic plant. Cold-damaged leaves then fold
down and protect the meristem, which grows at or
immediately below the surface of the water (Hussain et al., 2010).


Sampling: The experiment was carried out in an aerobic treatment lagoons in natural environment, sample of wastewater was collected from all bio- treatment ponds. From each pond, samples were collected three times. Water samples were collected directly from inlet and outlet of each pond during subsequent days, 10, 20 and 31 days. Mechanism of treatment is exclusively based on bio-remediation i.e. using indigenous plants and microbes. Table (i) shows the dimension and water storing capacity of different ponds.

Table (i) Dimension of treatment lagoons

220 nm. UV/VIS spectrophotometer (Lambda 3B) used for analysis. The UV-visible method used for the rough estimate of Sulfate. It determined the absorption of nitrate ion at 420 nm. UV/VIS spectrophotometer (Lambda 3B) used for analysis.

Results & Discussion

Each parameter is analyzed 3 times, results shown in Table (ii). Sample was collected from Bio- remediation Orchard. Efficiency of these macrophytes in scavenging contaminants designate that the presence of these macrophytes was vital constituent for the removal of contaminants in the wastewater. Following are the different results shown by macrophytes. pH decreased by Pistia stratiotes 3.7%, 5% and 6.3%. Eichhornia crassipess also decreased pH by 1.3%,
2.5% and 5%. Hydrocotyle umbellatta increased pH by
5%, 2.5% and 2.1%.
Pistia stratiotes show better results at 31 oC as compare to 33 oC and 35 oC. EC decreased by Pistia stratiotes by 5.3% at 31 oC. Eichhornia crassipess showed comparatively good results at 31oC. Eichhornia crassipess decreased EC by 1.6% at 31 oC. EC decreased by Hydrocotyle umbellatta by 1.5%, at 35 oC.

Plants Length








Greater accumulatation of TDS showned by Pistia

(m. gal)

stratiotes and decreased TDS by 4% at 31 oC rather



97 83 6.5 0.40
than 1.3% decreased at 35 oC. Eichhornia crassipess
decreased TDS by 3% at 31 oC . But Hydrocotyle



98 80 6.5
umbellatta decreased TDS by 2.2% at 35 oC.


98 82 6.5 0.40
Nitrates decreased by Pistia stratiotes by 26% at 31
oC respectively. Eichhornia crassipess decreased


Wastewater sampling and physio-chemical analysis: For sample collection the bottles were washed with hot water followed by distilled water. During collection bottles were filled, rinsed with the sample water 2-3 times, tightly capped and properly labeled (APHA,

2005). Physical parameters of collected water samples were studied immediately, which were collected in replicates from all the bio-treatment ponds. In physical parameters analysis pH, EC and TDS were studied. While Chloride, Sulfate and Nitrate were the chemical parameters which were studied. Analytical procedure given by APHA (2005) used for water analysis. The pH of the wastewater determine by pH meter (WA-2015). Electric conductivity determined by conductivity meter (WA-2015). Total Dissolved Solids determined by TDS Meter (WA-2015). Chloride determined by titration method given by APHA.

Cl-1 = ml of titrant used × N × 35.5 × 1000

The UV-visible method used for the rough estimate of Nitrate. It determined the absorption of nitrate ion at
Nitrates by 16% at 31 oC . Hydrocotyle umbellatta
decreased Nitrates concentration by 12% at 35 oC.
Sulfate decreased 13% by Pistia stratiotes at 31 oC. Eichhornia crassipess decreased Sulfate by 26% at 35 oC. Hydrocotyle umbellatta decreased Sulfate by 22% at 35 oC, 33 oC and 31 oC.
Chloride decreased by 10% by Pistia stratiotes at
35 oC. Eichhornia crassipess decreased Chloride by
13.4% at 31 oC respectively. Hydrocotyle umbellatta
decreased Chloride by 9.7% at 35 oC.
Averages of all the percentages decreased by Pistia stratiotes at temperature 35 oC was 7.3, 33 oC was 8.9 and at 31 oC was 9.45.This showed that its best performance at 31 oC as compare to other temperature. So overall performance of Pistia stratiotes comparatively higher than Eichhornia crassipess and Hydrocotyle umbellatta.
Averages percentages decreased by Eichhornia crassipess at 35 oC, 33 oC and 31 oC was 2.97, 5.27 and

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Table (ii). Physico/Chemical Analysis of Wastewater in the Month July at Bio-remediation Orchard


Physical Parameters Chemical Parameters

pH EC (dS/m) TDS (NTU) NO -1

(ppm) SO -1

(ppm) Cl-1
2012 (35oC)
In Out Diff In Out Diff In Out Diff In Out Diff In Out Diff In Out Diff

Water Lettuce 8.0 7.7 3.7* 1.13 1.09 3.5* 740 730 1.3* 3.9 3.1 20* 69 65 5.7* 50 45 10* Water Hyacinth 7.6 7.5 1.3* 1.091 1.089 0.2* 697 693 0.6* 3.2 3.1 3.1* 63 57 9.5* 43.4 45.0 3.12*

Water Pennywort 7.5 7.9 5* 1.098 1.081 1.5* 697 681 2.2* 3.1 2.7 12* 68 53 22* 52.1 47 9.7*
Water Lettuce 8.0 7.6 5* 1.16 1.11 4.3* 773 746 3.4* 3.7 2.8 24* 71 62 12* 62.12 59.09 4.8*

2012 (33oC)

Water Hyacinth 7.8 7.6 2.5* 1.052 1.037 1.4* 688 681 1.1* 2.75 2.6 5.5* 66 55 16* 46.0 52.1 5.17*

Water Pennywort 7.5 7.7 2.5* 1.052 1.042 0.9* 701 691 1.4* 2.75 2.5 9* 68 55 19* 60.2 58.8 1.9*
Water Lettuce 8.1 7.58 6.3* 1.162 1.10 5.3* 770 739 4* 4.1 3 26* 67 58 13* 61.4 60.1 2.1*

2012 (31oC)

Water Hyacinth 7.9 7.5 5* 1.109 1.091 1.6* 680 659 3* 2.9 2.5 16* 69 51 26* 60.2 59.6 13.4*

Water Pennywort 7.7 7.9 2.1* 1.098 1.091 0.7* 697 695 0.3* 2.51 2.4 4* 60 51 15* 45 44.7 0.66*

* = %
In = Inlet
Out = Outlet
Diff = Difference
A permissible limit of agriculture for pH is (6.5-8.5), EC is (0-3 dS/m), TDS is (0-2000 NTU), Cl-1 is (0-1065ppm), NO3
is (0-30ppm) and SO4
is (0-960ppm) given by United States Department of Agriculture (APHA).

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