This article describes Norwegian and Polish experiences concerning domestic wastewater treatment obtained during nearly 20 years of operation for constructed wetland (CW) systems in rural areas and scattered settlements. The Norwegian CW systems revealed a high performance with respect to the removal of organic matter, biogenic elements and faecal indicator bacteria. The performance of the Polish CW systems was unstable, and varied between unsatisfied and satisfied treatment efficiency provided by horizontal and vertical flow CWs, respectively. Therefore, three different concepts related to the improvement of CW technology have been developed and implemented in Poland. These concepts combined some innovative solutions originally designed in Norway (e.g. an additional treatment step in biofilters) with Polish inspiration for new CWs treating rural domestic wastewater. The implementation of full-scale systems will be evaluated with regard to treatment efficiency and innovative technology; based on this, a further selection of the most favourable CW for rural areas and scattered settlements will be performed.
Keywords: constructed wetlands, domestic wastewater, rural areas, treatment technology