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Enfoque UTE

On-line version ISSN 1390-6542Print version ISSN 1390-9363


LEON, R. et al. Evaluation of the potential of acuatic plants to remove total coliforms and Escherichia coli from wastewater. Enfoque UTE [online]. 2018, vol.9, n.4, pp.131-144. ISSN 1390-6542.

In Ecuador, most communities rely on non-treated surface water as their main drinkable water source. In most cases, the water source is contaminated with fecal coliforms and Escherichia coli. This research is intended to find aquatic plants with the ability to remove the overall coliforms and E. coli from contaminated water. Aquatic plants were taken in Rio Guayas, Recinto Aguas Frias and Estero Peñafiel, and the following species were selected to carry out the experiment: Azolla caroliniana Willd, Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms, Pistia stratiotes L., Salvinia auriculata Aubl. and Lemna minor L. specimens of these plants were grown in vitro to verify their capacity and ability to remove E. coli and the coliforms using a bioassay method. Physico-chemical parameters were also tested, such as: temperature, PH levels and total dissolved solids. This experiment was developed in water and using a method inoculating a referential E. coli ATCC25922 strain. After 7 days the remaining bacterial percentage was determined, and it was noted a capacity of 99% of E. coli removal for A. caroliniana, E. crassipes and L. minor, and 100% for P. stratiotes and S. auriculata (p = 0.027). Once the potential of bacterial removal of these plants were proved, test were executed in wastewater, resulting in a 100% removal of coliforms and E. coli for S. auriculata and A. caroliniana (p = 0.003). After the results obtained in this experiment, it is recommended to use S. auriculata and A. caroliniana as a strategy for treatment and removal of bacteria from contaminated water.

Keywords : phytoremediation; E. coli ATCC25922; A. caroliniana; S. auriculata.

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