Journal article

Salt tolerant plants increase nitrogen removal from biofiltration systems affected by saline stormwater

Christopher Szota, Claire Farrell, Stephen J Livesley, Tim D Fletcher



Biofiltration systems are used in urban areas to reduce the concentration and load of nutrient pollutants and heavy metals entering waterways through stormwater runoff. Biofilters can, however be exposed to salt water, through intrusion of seawater in coastal areas which could decrease their ability to intercept and retain pollutants. We measured the effect of adding saline stormwater on pollutant removal by six monocotyledonous species with different levels of salt-tolerance. Carex appressa, Carex bichenoviana, Ficinia nodosa, Gahnia filum, Juncus kraussii and Juncus usitatus were exposed to six concentrations of saline stormwater, equivalent to electrical conductivity readings of: 0.09, 2...

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Awarded by City of Melbourne and Melbourne Water

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the City of Melbourne and Melbourne Water (Research Agreement ID: 35112) and we thank Ralf Pfleiderer, Rachelle Adamowicz and Julia Peacock for their support and guidance. Joerg Werdin and Harry Virahsawmy provided vital assistance in the construction, filling and planting of the columns. Harry Virahsawmy assisted in creating the synthetic stormwater treatment and in the collection of sediment for making the slurry. Joerg Werdin provided significant assistance with the final harvest. Tina Hines at the School of Chemistry, Monash University prepared and analysed all water quality samples. We also thank Nick Osborne for providing technical assistance. Fletcher is funded by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT100100144).