Constructed Floating Wetlands in a Saline Environment

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Constructed Floating Wetlands in a Saline Environment

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Altering the natural characteristics of a drainage basin through urbanisation can impose dramatic changes on the movement and storage of stormwater within the catchment. Impervious surfaces such as roofs and pavements can prevent precipitation from reaching the soil and this can reduce infiltration and groundwater recharge, while increasing stormwater runoff volumes and flow rates from the catchment. Increases in impervious surface areas in urban developments over recent years have increased the volume of stormwater runoff, and subsequently, the amount of pollution flowing to receiving waters. Therefore, the management of urban stormwater has developed into a priority issue in new developments.

This evaluation, monitoring and research project will form the basis of a comprehensive three-year research study on the stormwater quality improvements to be expected in urban stormwater runoff due to the implementation of Constructed Floating Wetlands (CFW) as the major stormwater treatment strategy for the development site.

CFWs are manmade ecosystems that mimic natural wetlands, created using floating mats that support plant life. The mats float in ponds or estuaries and can be used to improve water quality by filtering, consuming, or breaking down pollutants (e.g., nutrients, sediment, and metals) from the water.

It is anticipated that the results of this research program will provide valuable information and verification of the suitability of CFWs to reduce urban stormwater pollution loads in saline environments. This study could have major implications for the way urban stormwater in saline environments is managed in Australia and overseas.

This project is funded and supported by Pelican Waters Heart.

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