Green wall height and design optimisation for effective greywater pollution treatment and reuse

Veljko Prodanovic, Belinda Hatt, David McCarthy, Ana Deletic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Green walls that effectively treat greywater have the potential to become a part of the solution for the issues of water scarcity and pollution control in our cities. To develop reliable and efficient designs of such systems, the following two research questions were addressed: what would be the optimal design of a green wall for greywater treatment, and how tall should the system be to assure adequate treatment. This paper reports on (i) a long-term pollutant removal comparison study of two typical green wall configurations: pot and block designs, and (ii) a short-term profile study exploring pollutant retention at different heights of a three-level green wall, across different plant species. Removal of suspended solids (TSS), nitrogen (TN), phosphorus (TP), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and Escherichia coli was tested, as well as various physical parameters. Pot and block designs were found to exhibit similar pollutant removal performance for standard and high inflow concentrations, while the block design was more resistant to drying. However, due to its multiple practical advantages, pot designs are favoured. The greatest removal was achieved within the top green wall level for all studied pollutants, while subsequent levels facilitated further removal of TSS, COD, and TN. Interestingly, colour, pH, and EC increased after each green wall level, which must be taken into account to determine the maximum height of these systems. The optimal size of the system was found to be dependent on plant species choice. The results were used to create practical recommendations for the effective design of greywater treatment green walls.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110173
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • Block design
  • Design recommendation
  • Living wall
  • Pot design
  • Vegetated wall
  • Water treatment

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