S.A. Ostroumov, E.A. Solomonova
Using higher plants to treat polluted water (phytoremediation) is among promising energy-saving and efficient technologies. In order to develop phytotechnology of treatment of polluted water it is necessary to study the tolerance range of macrophytes in the presence of contaminants. In the current research project, a synthetic surfactant was studied as a potential contaminant of water. The effects of the anionic surfactant, sodium dodecylsulphate (SDS), on the aquatic macrophyte Potamogeton crispus L. were studied.
A system of criteria and methodology to quantitatively evaluate the negative effects of SDS on the macrophytes was developed. It was found that the degree of the negative impact of SDS on the plants varied at different seasons. The authors compared the effects of SDS in spring and in au-tumn. As a result, it was found that in September, a concentration of 83 mg/l and larger concen-trations induced the fragmentation of the stems of the plants. The tolerance of the plants to the negative effects of the surfactant was higher in spring (April) than in autumn (September).
A new approach was developed to measure the load of SDS that was tolerated by the macrophytes. The load was measured as the total amount of the surfactant that was added to the experimental microcosms over the specific period of time, per 1 one liter of the aquatic medium in the microcosms.
In these experiments, series of additions of SDS to the microcosms were made, so that the in-creases in the concentrations after the additions were 0.17; 0.33; 0.50; 0.83; 1.67; 8.30; 16.60; 49.80 mg/L.
If the period of time for the several additions of SDS was 20 days, the macrophytes tolerated the addition of approximately 80 mg of the total amount of SDS to one liter of aquatic medium.
The results of the experiments contribute to developing the scientific basis for finding the optimal regimes for technologies of treatment of polluted waters using higher aquatic plants as a tool.