Review of ecological engineering solutions for rural non-point source water pollution control in Hubei Province, China

Min Wu, Xianqiang Tang, Qingyun Li, Wenjun Yang, Feng Jin, Minzhe Tang, Miklas Scholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Rural non-point source (RNPS) water pollution control is problematic in Hubei Province, which is a typical agricultural region with abundant rainfall and a developed natural surface water network. The concept of best management practices (BMP) originating from the USA has already been introduced with the aim to reduce the application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and water and soil loss. However, a comprehensive evaluation of rural wastewater and nutrient reutilization to benefit the rural communities and the environment has not been attempted. To fill this gap, this review paper explores the major contributors of RNPS water pollution in Hubei Province, assesses the status of watercourses and discusses the prevalent ecological engineering techniques including vegetated filter strips (VFS), ecological ditches (ED), constructed wetlands (CW), and biogas plants (BP) with respect to aspects such as water purification, energy generation, and nutrient reduction and recirculation. Findings indicate that RNPS water pollution continuously increased for the past 10 years. Chemical fertilizers, poultry and livestock breeding, aquaculture, and rural living are the major sources of elevated chemical oxygen demand, ammonia-nitrogen, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus loads discharged to receiving watercourses. Finally, ecological engineering technologies such as VFS, ED, CW, and BP are proposed for villages and communities to combat RNPS water pollution. BMP are a promising approach to create a sustainable agricultural system, improve the rural energy consumption structure and living conditions, decrease wastewater discharges, and reduce chemical fertilizer application rate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1561
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Agroecosystems
  • Best management practice
  • Energy generation
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Review of ecological engineering solutions for rural non-point source water pollution control in Hubei Province, China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this