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Summary of Final Report,BDK78 985-01
Floating Wetland Systems for Nutrient Removal
in Stormwater Ponds
Wet detention ponds are frequently used in stormwater management systems as part of a
treatment train for attenuation of flow and removal of pollutants. Wet detention ponds designed
and operated according to commonly used standards and specifications remove nutrients but the
removal of nitrogen has remained low, about 30-40% concentration reduction on a yearly basis.
A Floating Treatment Wetland (FTW) composed of selected plants suspended in a wet detention
pond was proposed in this research to improve the removal of nutrients before discharge from a
The primary objective was to document improvement in water quality when a FTW was used in
a wet detention pond. Design and maintenance issues for the deployment of a FTW were
defined and documented for additional nutrient removal when used in wet detention ponds.
Explicit tasks were implemented to aid in the specification of plants, media to hold plants, pond
area coverage, location of a FWT within a pond, removal rates, and maintenance activities to
sustain removal while not producing detrimental effects within the pond water or plant
Floating Wetland Systems for Nutrient Removal in Stormwater Ponds
FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
By all observations, a FTW offered an innovative and naturally harmonious solution for pollutant
reduction. The FTWs of this research blended into a pond environment and removed nutrients.
In this research, a FTW removed pollutants by directly assimilating them into their macrophytes
as well as a FTW provided a suitable environment for microorganisms to decompose or
transform pollutants to the gas phase, which reduced their concentrations in pond water.
All media used to support the plants were acceptable, but expanded clay and tire crumb media
was most cost effective, plants were sustained, and plant growt