Performance characterisation of a constructed Wetland

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Performance of a constructed wetland is commonly reported as being variable due to the site specific nature of influential factors. This paper discusses the outcomes from an in-depth study which characterised the treatment performance of a wetland based on the variation in the runoff regime. The study included a comprehensive field monitoring of a well-established constructed wetland in Gold Coast, Australia. Samples collected at the inlet and outlet were tested for Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Total Nitrogen (TN) and Total Phosphorus (TP). Pollutant concentrations in the outflow were found to be consistent irrespective of the variation in inflow water quality. The analysis revealed two different treatment characteristics for events with different rainfall depths. TSS and TN load reduction was found to be strongly influenced by the hydraulic retention time where performance was relatively superior for rainfall events below the design event. For small events, treatment performance was higher at the beginning of the event and gradually decreased during the course of the event. For large events, the treatment performance was comparatively poor at the beginning and improved during the course of the event. The analysis also confirmed the variable treatment trends for different pollutant types.

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