Plants may be more efficient solution for cleaning urban rivers, says researcher at USP

Seventy-four species of plants , including aquatic plants, herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees, used in so-called green infrastructures, may be able to treat more efficiently the polluted waters of the largest city in Brazil, São Paulo.

According to Maitê, much of the pollution that reaches rivers and urban streams is brought by the drainage of rainwater on impermeable surfaces, and this type of pollution is known as 'diffuse'. There is still one that comes from the illegal disposal of industrial and domestic sewage. 

According to the expert, in countries such as Germany, China and the United States, the negative impacts of the "gray infrastructure" ( drainage of rainwater from concrete pipes and channels) on urban water management and the benefits of management practices, ie where it falls.

The study conducted by the USP researcher shows that there is a wide variety of plant species documented by the potential for treatment and / or mitigation of pollutants. "In the treatment of waters, macrophytes or aquatic plants, in general - floating, emerging or submerged - with a dense root system and ability to survive in hostile environments stand out", he says.

Examples of these species are taboa ( Typha sp ), water hyacinth ( Eichornia crassipes ).

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