Water Quality & sUAS Photogrammetry of Boeng Cheung Ek Treatment Wetland, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Wednesday, December 5, 2018: 4:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall- C4 & C5 (Las Vegas Convention Center)
Samuel Mallow , Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL
Melissa Lenczewski , Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL

Boeng Cheung Ek wetland is a large, peri-urban, free water surface, wastewater treatment wetland that services approximately 90% of combined storm water and untreated municipal wastewater from the city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Flooded area in the wetland basin cycles seasonally between 20 km2 and 13 km2 during the monsoon season. Untreated wastewater input is an average of 2.04 m3/s during the dry season with a maximum of 12 m3/s during storm events. The objective of this study is to characterize the spatiotemporal variability of contaminants in wetland surface water and determine whether infiltration to groundwater has occurred. Significant communities adjacent to the wetland still rely on household wells for drinking water. Nitrate, ammonia, phosphate, potassium, chloride, E. coli, heavy metals, H and O isotopes, and physicochemical parameters were determined for three sampling seasons: Jul-2017, Aug-2017, and Jan-2018. Of 10 household and community wells sampled, two wells located 180 m apart had high levels of chloride indicating contamination by wastewater. The difference in concentration between inflow at two wastewater pumping stations and outflow from the wetland via two outlet streams reflected reductions in the range of 40-88% (ammonia) and 43-87% (phosphate). Additionally, the study presents the potential of sUAS photogrammetry for inexpensively producing high resolution digital elevation models. A 1.2 km2 DEM with an average ground sampling distance of only 6.67 cm was compared to eight RTK-GPS ground control points yielding a mean vertical error of 4.96 m and standard deviation of 0.67 m. Data from this emerging technology has applications including referencing well elevation, measuring surface water level, and serving as an input for flood modeling. Plans exist to fill in 72% of the wetland for development. We hope this research will help inform the sustainable management of wastewater in the city.
Samuel Mallow, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL
I am working towards my M.S. in Hydrogeology.


Melissa Lenczewski, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL
Associate Professor