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Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment in Western Australia

Dallas, S.ORCID: 0000-0003-4379-1482, Anda, M.ORCID: 0000-0001-7398-4192 and Ho, G.E.ORCID: 0000-0001-9190-8812 (2008) Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment in Western Australia. In: Mathew, K., Dallas, S. and Ho, G., (eds.) Decentralised water and wastewater systems : international conference, Fremantle, Western Australia, 10-12 July, 2006. IWA Publishing, London, UK, pp. 87-94.


The potential for constructed wetlands (CWs) in Western Australia is enormous as they can provide cost-effective wastewater treatment systems with an effluent quality suitable for reuse which are simple and inexpensive to operate and maintain when compared to conventional treatment systems. As a result they represent an appropriate and sustainable technology for wastewater treatment - properties which have been widely documented. The largest drawback is the area they require which can make their application to urban areas problematic; however they are particularly well suited to small towns and rural communities where sufficient land is more likely to be available. In addition regulatory bodies are currently preoccupied with the potential for mosquito habitat which can be avoided with correct design.

Constructed wetlands can be considered to be of three principal types: horizontal subsurface flow (SSF), vertical flow (VF) and free water surface (FWS). The design of SSF and FWS wetlands historically has been based on data from numerous wetlands worldwide which has been used to derive empirical equations - the 'black box' approach. The Environmental Technology Centre is now beginning to monitor several different types of constructed wetlands in southwest Western Australia and data more relevant to the local climate is being compiled. This includes different wastewater types including greywater, levels of treatment, suitable plant species, local climatic effects and general construction details. This monitoring program will ultimately lead to improved wetland design for Western Australia conditions.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation: Environmental Technology Centre
Publisher: IWA Publishing
Copyright: © 2008 IWA Publishing
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