Inventory of Constructed Wetlands for Municipal Wastewater Treatment in the U.S.

by Donald S. Brown, EPA, Cincinnati, United States,
Sherwood C. Reed, EPA, Cincinnati, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Environmental Engineering


The U.S. EPA's Risk Reduction Engineering Laboratory is conducting an inventory of constructed wetlands (CW) for municipal wastewater treatment in the U.S. The inventory is one part of an effort to gather better data on which to base CW design. The inventory is being conducted in two phases; this paper presents data from the first phase. A total of 143 communities were identified as either considering or using CW. Of this total, 31 operating free water surface (FWS) and 26 operating subsurface flow (SF) systems were found. Systems range in size from 200 to 76,000 m3/d (0.05 to 20 mgd) for FWS and from 5 to 11,400 m3/d (0.001 to 3.0 mgd) for SF. Design approaches and performance goals vary widely; as a result hydraulic loading rates and costs vary widely. Limited flow data show hydraulic surface area loading rates range from 4 to 530 L/m2/d (230 to 1.8 ac/mgd) for FWS systems and from 30 to 410 L/m2/d (31 to 2.3 ac/mgd) for SF systems. Limited cost data show construction costs range from $16 to $770 per m3/d ($0.06 to $2.90 per gpd) for FWS systems and from $60 to $790 per m3/d ($0.23 to $3.00 per gpd) for SF systems. Because of the limited number of data, all of these figures should be viewed with caution.

Subject Headings: Municipal wastewater | Hydraulic loads | Wetlands (fresh water) | Water treatment | Inventories | Hydraulic design | Wastewater treatment | United States

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