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Constructed Wetlands Design


Merits of constructed wetlands

Smaller, decentralized, wastewater management Relatively inexpensive Natural system, simple design, construction to build where land is affordable Easily operated and maintained even by the community 95% rural Europe

Major components of CW
Basin a shallow excavation Substrate permeable filler material rock, gravel, sand, soil, supports plant roots Vegetation same type of budding plants Liner for protection of groundwater, if required Inlet/Outlet arrangement system subsurface flow, uniform distribution and collection of w/w

Pollutant Removal Mechanisms in Constructed Wetlands - By various physical, chemical and biological processes

Advantages of CW
wetlands can be less expensive to build than other treatment options utilization of natural processes, simple construction (can be constructed with local materials), simple operation and maintenance, cost effectiveness (low construction and operation costs), process stability

Limitations of CW
large area requirement wetland treatment may be economical relative to other options only where land is available and affordable design criteria have yet to be developed for different types of wastewater and climates

Design configurations of CW
Many, based on various factors. Based on flow pattern in the wetlands: o free water surface flow o subsurface flow o horizontal o vertical Hybrid systems combine the best advantages of both HF and VF systems. They may be o HF followed by VF o VF followed by HF

Horizontal subsurface flow w/w flows under the surface of the bed in a more or less horizontal path Slow flow through the porous surface Removal of TSS, BOD, COD, nitrates Limited oxygen transfer

Vertical subsurface flow w/w is fed from the top and then gradually percolates down through the bed and is collected at the base Intermittent flow in a large batch flooding the surface Removal of BOD, COD, pathogens. Nitrification occurs Oxygen transfer is good Smaller area than HF More effective than HF

Better removal of TSS

Clogging occurs with incorrect


Design of constructed wetlands

Substrate of the wetland can be clogged with debris, grit, and solids from raw wastewater. Therefore, a primary treatment should be provided to remove the settleable solids. This may be o screening and grit removal o Septic tanks o Anaerobic baffle reactor (Improved septic tank)

Design of constructed wetlands

Surface area of wetland (Kickuth equation) ln ln = Where, Ah = Surface area of bed (m2) Qd = average daily flow rate of sewage (m3/d) Ci = influent BOD5 concentration (mg/l) Ce = effluent BOD5 concentration (mg/l) KBOD = rate constant (m/d)

= .

Where, KT = K20 (1.06)(T-20) K20 = rate constant at 20C (d-1) T = operational temperature of system (C) d = depth of water column (m) recommended values: HF = 40 cm, VF = 70 cm n = porosity of the substrate medium (percentage expressed as fraction) KBOD is temperature dependent and the BOD degradation rate generally increases about 10 % per 0C

Depth restricted to approximately the rooting depth of plants HRT (time the wastewater is retained in the wetland) is to be considered Recommended depth HF: ~ 40 cm, considering precipitation, which causes surface flow VF: 70 cm, for nitrification


Bed cross section area (HF only) It is derived from Darcys law - subsurface flow through the gravel under average flow conditions. Assumptions: hydraulic gradient = slope, and hydraulic conductivity will stabilize at 10-3 m/s in the established wetland Ac = Qs / (Kf (dH/ds)) Ac = Cross sectional area of the bed (m2) Qs = average flow (m3/s) Kf = hydraulic conductivity of the fully developed bed (m/s) For graded gravel: Kf = 1 x 10-3 to 3 x 10-3 m/s dH/ds = slope of bottom of the bed (m/m) (usually 1%)

Then, width of wetland = C S Area / depth of wetland Therefore, length of wetland = total surface area / width of wetland On partitioning wetland cell into n numbers, the Qeach cell = Qs / n

Recommendations: If the width of the wetland is more than 15 m, the wetland cell should be partitioned to avoid short circuiting of wastewater inside the wetland. It is better to use at least two parallel cells instead of a single wetland cell for the ease in O&M Note: In VF wetlands, since the flow is vertical, the width and crosssectional area of VF beds are not set by a requirement to keep the flow below surface and prevent surface flow

Substrate selection
Recommended media: Intermediate-sized materials generally characterized as gravels. The gravels are washed because to remove fines that could block the void spaces. HF wetlands


Substrate selection
VF wetlands


Bed slope
Theoretically, the bottom slope should match the slope of the water level to maintain a uniform water depth throughout the bed. Practical approach: slope the bottom along the direction of flow from inlet to outlet slope of 0.5 to 1% is recommended


Sealing of the bed

Coefficient of permeability k of native soil k>10-6 m/s k>10-7 m/s Interpretation

k<10-8 m/s k<10-9 m/s k>10-9 m/s

the soil is too permeable and the wetlands must be lined some seepage may occur but not sufficiently to prevent the wetlands from having submerged condition the wetlands will seal naturally there is no risk of groundwater contamination And the groundwater is used for potable supplies, further detailed hydrogeological studies may be required

Same liners as for ponds. The soil may be mixed with ordinary Portland cement (8 kg/ m3) or bentonite. Others: PVC, PE, PP


Inlet structures common types used

HF Submerged perforated pipe (such as riser pipes with Vnotches) Gabion feed Swivel tee Perforated pipe inlet Slotted pipe inlet Channel inlet VF Inlet structures for VF wetland comprises of an intermittent feeding tank with distribution network. Types of inlets used: o Hydromechanical siphons o Network of pipes with downward pointing holes

Outlet structures
The design of subsurface flow wetlands should allow controlled flooding to 15 cm for desirable plant growth. Types of outlets: Adjustable weir Interchangeable section 900 Elbow arrangement Elbow outlets Flexible pipe outlet


The plants should meet the following criteria Common in the region Deep, strong, fibrous roots Large biomass or stem densities Maximum surface area of roots for supporting microbial populations Commonly used: Phragmites sp. and Typha sp., of plants which includes the popular choice common reed


0.075 MLD
Case studies Nepal The removal efficiencies of 6 CW in Nepal for TSS, BOD, COD have remained over 80% during 2006 -2007

0.0007 MLD
Case studies Nepal The removal efficiencies of 6 CW in Nepal for TSS, BOD, COD have remained over 80% during 2006 -2007

0.03 MLD
Case studies Nepal The removal efficiencies of 6 CW in Nepal for TSS, BOD, COD have remained over 80% during 2006 -2007

0.01 MLD
Case studies Nepal The removal efficiencies of 6 CW in Nepal for TSS, BOD, COD have remained over 80% during 2006 -2007

0.0005 MLD
Case studies Nepal The removal efficiencies of 6 CW in Nepal for TSS, BOD, COD have remained over 80% during 2006 -2007

0.075 MLD
Case studies Nepal The removal efficiencies of 6 CW in Nepal for TSS, BOD, COD have remained over 80% during 2006 -2007