Remediation of polluted riverwater by biological, chemical, ecological and engineering processes

Hossain Md. Anawar, Rezaul Chowdhury*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Selection of appropriate river water treatment methods is important for the restoration of river ecosystems. An in-depth review of different river water treatment technologies has been carried out in this study. Among the physical-engineering processes, aeration is an effective, sustainable and popular technique which increases microbial activity and degrades organic pollutants. Other engineering techniques (water diversion, mechanical algae removal, hydraulic structures and dredging) are effective as well, but they are cost intensive and detrimental to river ecosystems. Riverbank filtration is a natural, slow and self-sustainable process which does not pose any adverse effects. Chemical treatments are criticised for their short-term solution, high cost and potential for secondary pollution. Ecological engineering-based techniques are preferable due to their high economic, environmental and ecological benefits, their ease of maintenance and the fact that they are free from secondary pollution. Constructed wetlands, microbial dosing, ecological floating beds and biofilms technologies are the most widely applicable ecological techniques, although some variabilities are observed in their performances. Constructed wetlands perform well under low hydraulic and pollutant loads. Sequential constructed wetland floating bed systems can overcome this limitation. Ecological floating beds are highly recommended for their low cost, high effectiveness and optimum plant growth facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7017
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • polluted river water
  • water treatment
  • ecological restoration
  • constructed wetland
  • ecological floating bed
  • biofilm technology


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