Published Oct 13, 2020


Google Scholar
Search GoogleScholar

Ismael Leonardo Vera-Puerto, PhD

Jorge Leonardo Olave-Vera, PhD

Sussy Tapia, BSc

Wladimir Antonio Chávez, MSc

Carlos Arias, PhD



The aim of this work is to evaluate the reuse of municipal wastewaters treated through subsurface constructed wetlands (SS-CWs) as irrigation water in cut flower aeroponic cultivation under arid conditions. For this purpose, two experimental aeroponic cultivation systems were installed with the cut flower Lilium ‘Tresor’ planted and irrigated with SS-CWs treated water. The results showed that the quality of the SS-CWs wastewater has to be improved to be used in irrigation. Despite that, Lilium ‘Tresor’ grew under arid conditions with normal stem diameters and number of flowers but with heights under 0.65 m, which would restrict their commercialization to local markets. Water electrical conductivity (> 2300 µs/cm) and luminosity (> 120 klux) were factors that affected plant height. When compared to other cultivation systems, the aeroponic cultivation system used between 10 % and 20 % of the amount of water needed to produce Lilium ‘Tresor.’ Thus, this work showed the feasibility to produce cut flowers using an aeroponic cultivation system under arid conditions and irrigated with SS-CWs effluents. Likewise, it was detected that improvements to water quality and luminosity must be made for industrial scaling.


aeroponía, agua residual municipal, humedal construido subsuperficial, flor de corte, reutilizaciónAeroponics, municipal wastewater, subsurface constructed wetland, cut flower, reuse

[1] N. Hammouri, J. Adamowski, M. Freiwan, and S. Prasher, “Climate change impacts on surface water resources in arid and semi-arid regions: A case study in northern Jordan,” Acta Geod. Geophys., vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 141–156, Mar. 2017. doi: 10.1007/s40328-016-0163-7
[2] L. Cáceres, J. Delatorre, F. de la Riva, and V. Monardes, “Greening of arid cities by residual water reuse: A multidisciplinary project in northern Chile,” Ambio, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 264–268, Jun. 2003. doi: 10.1639/0044-7447(2003)032[0264:GOACBR]2.0.CO;2
[3] C.-A. Villamar, I. Vera-Puerto, D. Rivera, and F. de la Hoz, “Reuse and recycling of livestock and municipal wastewater in Chilean agriculture: A preliminary assessment,” Water, vol. 10, no. 6, p. 817, Jun. 2018.
[4] I. Vera, C. Jorquera, D. López, and G. Vidal, “Humedales construidos para tratamiento y reúso de aguas servidas en Chile : reflexiones,” Tecnol. Cienc. Agua, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 19–35, May./Jun. 2016. Available:
[5] I. Vera-Puerto, J. Olave, S. Tapia, and W. Chávez, “Atacama Desert: Water resources and reuse of municipal wastewater in irrigation of cut flower aeroponic cultivation system (first laboratory experiments),” Desalin. Water Treat., vol. 150, pp. 73–83, May 2019. doi: 10.5004/dwt.2019.23612
[6] B. Jiménez, “Irrigation in developing countries using wastewater,” Int. Rev. Environ. Strateg., vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 229–250, Mar. 2006. Available:
[7] Y. Tapia et al., “Atriplex atacamensis and Atriplex halimus resist as contamination in Pre-Andean soils (northern Chile),” Sci. Total Environ., vol. 450-451, pp. 188–196, Apr. 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.02.021
[8] A. Noyola, A. Padilla-Rivera, J. M. Morgan-Sagastume, L. P. Güereca, and F. Hernández-Padilla, “Typology of municipal wastewater treatment technologies in Latin America,” CLEAN Soil, Air, Water, vol. 40, no. 9, pp. 926–932, Sep. 2012. doi: 10.1002/clen.201100707
[9] D. Zhang, K. Jinadasa, R. Gersberg, Y. Liu, W. Ng, and S. Tan, “Application of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment in developing countries: A review of recent developments (2000-2013),” J. Environ. Manage., vol. 141, pp. 116–131, Aug. 2014. Available:
[10] A. Albalawneh, T.-K. Chang, C.-S. Chou, and S. Naoum, “Efficiency of a horizontal sub-surface flow constructed wetland treatment system in an arid area,” Water, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 1–14, Feb. 2016. doi: 10.3390/w8020051
[11] A. Gross, O. Shmueli, Z. Ronen, and E. Raveh, “Recycled vertical flow constructed wetland (RVFCW): A novel method of recycling greywater for irrigation in small communities and households,” Chemosphere, vol. 66, pp. 916–923, Jan. 2007. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.06.006
[12] K. Andersson et al., “Sanitation, wastewater management and sustainability: From waste disposal to resource recovery,” UN Environment Programme and Stockholm Environment Institute, Nairobi, Kenya, 2016. [Online]. Available:
[13] F. Masi, A. Rizzo, and M. Regelsberger, “The role of constructed wetlands in a new circular economy, resource oriented, and ecosystem services paradigm,” J. Environ. Manage., vol. 216, pp. 275–284, Jun. 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.11.086
[14] V. Burgos, F. Araya, C. Reyes-Contreras, I. Vera, and G. Vidal, “Performance of ornamental plants in mesocosm subsurface constructed wetlands under different organic sewage loading,” Ecol. Eng., vol. 99, pp. 246–255, Feb. 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2016.11.058
[15] L. Sandoval-Herazo, A. Alvarado-Lassman, J. Marín-Muñiz, J. Méndez-Contreras, and S. Zamora-Castro, “Effects of the use of ornamental plants and different substrates in the removal of wastewater pollutants through microcosms of constructed wetlands,” Sustainability, vol. 10, no. 5, pp. 1594, May 2018. doi: 10.3390/su10051594
[16] S. Zamora-Castro, J. Marín-Muñiz, L. Sandoval, M. Vidal-Álvarez, and J. Carrión-Delgado, “Effect of ornamental plants, seasonality, and filter media material in fill-and-drain constructed wetlands treating rural community wastewater,” Sustainability, vol. 11, no. 8, pp. 2350, Apr. 2019. doi: 10.3390/su11082350
[17] L. Sandoval, S. Zamora-Castro, M. Vidal-Álvarez, and J. Marín-Muñiz, “Role of wetland plants and use of ornamental flowering plants in constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment: A review,” Appl. Sci., vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 685, Feb. 2019. doi: 10.3390/app9040685
[18] J. Travis, N. Weisbrod, and A. Gross, “Decentralized wetland-based treatment of oil-rich farm wastewater for reuse in an arid environment,” Ecol. Eng., vol. 39, pp. 81–89, Feb. 2012. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2011.11.008
[19] S. Abou-Elela, G. Golinelli, A. Saad El-Tabl, and M. Hellal, “Treatment of municipal wastewater using horizontal flow constructed wetlands in Egypt,” Water Sci. Technol., vol. 69, no. 1, pp. 38-47, Jan. 2014. doi: 10.2166/wst.2013.530
[20] L. Latrach, N. Ouazzani, A. Hejjaj, M. Mahi, T. Masunaga, and L. Mandi, “Two-stage vertical flow multi-soil-layering (MSL) technology for efficient removal of coliforms and human pathogens from domestic wastewater in rural areas under arid climate,” Int. J. Hyg. Environ. Health, vol. 221, no. 1, pp. 64–80, Jan. 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.10.004
[21] M. Safi, A. Bulad, A. Blawenah, and I. Bashabsheh, “Water use efficiency, flower yield and quality of ‘Lilium aziatische’ irrigated with different water types,” Int. J. Agric. Biol., vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 264–266, Jul. 2007. Available:
[22] A. Alderfasi, “Agronomic and economic benefits of reuse secondary treated wastewater in irrigation under arid and semi-arid region,” World J. Agric. Sci., vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 369–374, Jan. 2009. Available:
[23] J. Olave, B. Torres, W. Chávez, and O. González, Producción de Lilium bajo invernadero en un sistema aeropónico recirculante con agua residual urbana tratada en el desierto de Atacama. Iquique: Universidad Arturo Prat, Fundación para la Innovación Agraria (FIA), 2016.
[24] C. Cassaniti, D. Romano, and T. Flowers, “The response of ornamental plants to saline irrigation water,” in Irrigation: Water Management, Pollution and Alternative Strategies, I. García-Garizabal, Ed. Rijeka: IntechOpen, 2012, pp. 131–158.
[25] K. Al-Ghawanmeh, N. Bani Hani, A. Al-Hammouri, and N. Karam, “Effect of irrigation with nutrient solutions mixed with treated wastewater on Asiatic lily ‘Brunello’ grown in a closed soilless culture,” Acta Agric. Slov., vol. 109, no. 1, pp. 29–42, Jan. 2017. doi: 10.14720/aas.2017.109.1.03
[26] I. Vera, N. Verdejo, W. Chávez, C. Jorquera, and J. Olave, “Influence of hydraulic retention time and plant species on performance of mesocosm subsurface constructed wetlands during municipal wastewater treatment in super-arid areas,” J. Environ. Sci. Heal. Part A, vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 105–113, Jan. 2016. doi: 10.1080/10934529.2015.1087732
[27] Dirección Meteorológica de Chile, “Productos climatológicos actuales e históricos: Estación Diego Aracena,” 2014. [Online]. Available:
[28] American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association, and Water Environment Federation, Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Ed. Washington: APHA American Public Health Association, 1998.
[29] NCh 2313/23 of. 95 Aguas Residuales Métodos de Análisis Parte 23: Determinación de Coliformes Fecales en medio A-1, 1995.
[30] J. di Rienzo, F. Casanoves, M. Balzarini, L. Gonzalez, M. Tablada, and C. Robledo, “InfoStat Versión 2018,” Grupo InfoStat, FCA, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina, 2018. Available:
[31] S. Lavrnić, M. Zapater-Pereyra, and M. L. Mancini, “Water scarcity and wastewater reuse standards in Southern Europe: Focus on agriculture,” Water, Air, Soil Pollut., vol. 228, no. 7, pp. 2–12, Jul. 2017. doi: 10.1007/s11270-017-3425-2
[32] Y. Tencer, G. Idan, M. Strom, and U. Nusinow, “Establishment of a constructed wetland in extreme dryland,” Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res., vol. 16, no. 7, pp. 862–875, Nov. 2009. doi: 10.1007/s11356-009-0232-3
[33] G. Verdugo et al., Producción de flores cortadas: V Región. Santiago, Chile: Fundacción para la Innovación Agraria (FIA), Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA), 2007. [Online]. Available:
[34] D. Norton-Brandão, S. Scherrenberg, and J. van Lier, “Reclamation of used urban waters for irrigation purposes: A review of treatment technologies,” J. Environ. Manage., vol. 122, pp. 85–98, Jun. 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.03.012
[35] Centro Internacional de Bulbos de Flor (CIBF), El cultivo del lilium: flor cortada y cultivo en maceta. Hillegom: Centro Internacional de Bulbos de Flor, 1980.
[36] B.-C. In and J. H. Lim, “Potential vase life of cut roses: Seasonal variation and relationships with growth conditions, phenotypes, and gene expressions,” Postharvest Biol. Technol., vol. 135, pp. 93–103, Jan. 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.postharvbio.2017.09.006
[37] O. Auzaque-Rodríguez, H. Balaguera-López, J. Álvarez-Herrera, and G. Fischer, “Efecto de la vernalización de bulbos reutilizados sobre la calidad de la flor de lirio (Lilium sp.) en la Sabana de Bogotá,” Agron. Colomb., vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 65–71, Jan. 2009. Available:
[38] F. Schiappacasse, G. Carrasco, and F. Carrasco, “Effect of four shading levels on flower stem and bulb quality of two lilies (Lilium spp.) cultivars (In Spanish),” Agric. Técnica, vol. 66, no. 4, pp. 352–359, Oct. 2006. Available:
[39] C. Treftz and S. Omaye, “Hydroponics: Potential for augmenting sustainable food production in non-arable regions,” Nutr. Food Sci., vol. 46, no. 5, pp. 672–684, Sep. 2016. doi: 10.1108/NFS-10-2015-0118
How to Cite
Vera-Puerto, I. L., Olave-Vera, J. L., Tapia, S., Chávez, W. A., & Arias, C. (2020). Reuse of Treated Municipal Wastewater from Constructed Wetlands for Cut Flowers Irrigation in Aeroponic Cultivation. Ingenieria Y Universidad, 24.
Special Section: Wetland Systems