Phytoremediation of Parboiled Rice Mill Wastewater Using Water Lettuce (Pistia Stratiotes)

Phytoremediation is an emerging technology applied for treatment of wastewater. It is a suitable option notably in developing countries as it is simple, sustainable and cost effective. In the present lab-based batch study the free floating aquatic plant water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) is used for treatment of parboiled rice mill wastewater having low pH, high chemical oxygen demand (COD), nitrogen, and phosphate. In raw rice mill wastewater (undiluted) growth of water lettuce is found to be inhibited. Later on, two different dilution approaches (raw and facultative pond effluent 1:1; raw and tap water 1:1) are applied in order to effectively use this technology. In all cases a control (without plant) is maintained to compare the performance with the Aquatic Plant based Treatment (APT) system. In the APT system results reveal that removal of soluble COD (SCOD), ammoniacal nitrogen (NH4-N), nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N), and soluble phosphorus (sol. P) are upto 65%, 98%, 70%, and 65% respectively. The study highlights the efficacy of water lettuce in removing organics and nutrients from parboiled rice mill wastewater.