Thursday, December 30, 2010

treatment wetlands on

Landscapearchitecture is a beautiful web site with a lot of link on design and arch realizations. Well, now there are also some link about treatment wetlands!!! very good!!! Here the link (see page 4):


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a good example from Germany!

a new publication on constructed wetland:

Technology Review | Constructed wetlands
Overview of subsurface flow constructed wetlands for greywater and domestic wastewater t reatment in developing countries.

From the foreword:

"This publication is an important contribution of the GTZ program “Sustainable sanitation – ecosan” towards the topic of constructed wetlands in developing countries as it provides valuable guidance on using this technology in developing countries for domestic wastewater treatment. The program is commissioned by the German Federal
Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 
The ecological sanitation (ecosan) approach is able to address both: child health which needs to be improved through better household sanitation and  wastewater treatment, and sustainable management and safe recycling".

A very beautiful and interesting publication that reports a lot of examples, a  complete summary on wetland treatment systems and the best pre.treament, and a full bibliography.!!!

You can find it here:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The ZER0-m Project

A key idea in Zer0-M is to integrate water supply, wastewater treatment and reuse. Systems shall be developed which minimise freshwater and potable water consumption but make best-quality freshwater available for high-grade use, e.g. drinking. 
On the other side wastewater shall be treated specifically for the planned reuse purpose. All resources contained in the wastewater, namely water and nutrients, shall be reused. The aim is to introduce "low tech - high concept" solutions developed for small communities.

Treatment of components with low tech and low cost treatment processes are:
  • constructed wetlands
  • anaerobic digestion
  • biomembrane treatment
  • waste stabilisation ponds
  • composting of sludge and night soil
  • reuse of treated wastewater for minor domestic purposes as flushing, garden watering but also crop irrigation or landscaping.
  • reuse of nutrients in agriculture and gardening
  • rainwater harvesting and reuse options

Several technologies are already available, which allow efficient wastewater treatment and re-use without hygienic risks on a low-cost and easy-to-handle kovach level. These includes sanitation systems with low water consumption, separation of grey and black water, biological treatment of grey water and reuse for non-drinking purposes (e.g. irrigation), bio-membrane reactors for intense treatment, constructed wetlands for extensive treatment, sludge hygienisation for re-use as fertiliser.
The Project was funded by the EU commission, Meda Water programme, Euro Mediterranean Programme for Local Water Management.

Here below two examples of the Technological Demonstration Centres:


New York Sun Works designed and built ‘The Science Barge’ on the Manhattan waterfront in 2006, and operated the facility for three years. The Science Barge was the first demonstration of high yield, commercial grade urban food production with near zero net carbon emissions. Off-grid and off-pipe, the hydroponic greenhouse on The Science Barge was powered by wind and solar, heated with vegetable oil, and irrigated by rainwater. The barge has been featured by National Geographic, Science, Dan Rather Reports, ABCWorld News, Le Monde, Urban Land, Sustain, and Good, among dozens of other national and international media. The Science Barge is currently operated by a local organization in Yonkers, NY. (SOURCE : ).

Well, is obviously that in a project like this.... THERE IS A TREATMENT WETLAND! look at the photos below:

Greywater Reuse

The Potential of Greywater Systems to Aid Sustainable Water Management

As pressures on freshwater resources grow around the world and as new sources of supply
become increasingly scarce, expensive, or politically controversial, efforts are underway to
identify new ways of meeting water needs.

Greywater is distinguished from more heavily contaminated “black water” from toilets. In many utility systems around the world, greywater is combined with black water in a single domestic wastewater stream. Yet greywater can be of far higher quality than black water because of its low level of contamination and higher potential for reuse.
When greywater is reused either onsite or nearby, it has the potential to reduce the demand for new water supply, reduce the energy and carbon footprint of water services, and meet a wide range of social and economic needs.
In particular, the reuse of greywater can help reduce demand for more costly high-quality potable water.

A greywater system, on the other hand, captures water that has been used for some purpose, but has not come into contact with high levels of contamination, e.g., sewage or food waste. This
water can be reused in a variety of ways. For instance, water that has been used once in a shower, clothes washing machine, or bathroom sink can be diverted outdoors for irrigation.

There are pilot greywater systems that divert greywater from showers and sinks into treatment wetlands or other plant- and soil-based filters. For example, in Berlin, Germany, a 60 square meter engineered wetland constructed in the courtyard of a housing settlement has been operating successfully for eight years (Nolde Grey Water Recycling).
Greywater from bath tubs, showers, sinks, and washing machines enters the plant-covered soil filter where it undergoes biological treatment. Ultra violet disinfection has been included as a final safety measure before the use in toilet flushing (Deutsche BauBeCon, 1995, 1996). Extensive investigations over several years of operation have shown that within the soil filter, E. coli concentrations were reduced by over 99% and all hygiene requirements have been achieved under the EU-Guidelines for Bathing Waters.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

treatment wetlands are a good option after natural disasters

Treatment wetlands are a good technology. This kind of treatment system could be implemented fastly after natural disasters. The tsunami of December 2004 destroyed infrastructure in many coastal areas in SouthEast Asia. In January 2005 the Danish Government gave a tsunami relief grant to Thailand to reestablish the wastewater management services in some of the areas affected by the tsunami through the development of appropriate wastewater collection and treatment systems. The centralised, highly engineered wastewater treatment systems that have been established in Thailand and other South-East Asian countries during the past decades have generally been largely disappointing.

Well, Prof. Hans Brix designed one of the most beautiful treatment wetland plant. This have the shape of a butterfly and a flower.

The wastewater management system comprises a separate wastewater collection system, an underground pumping station, siphon distribution systems, polishing ponds, water reuse storage tanks, and three types of constructed wetlands: vertical subsurface flow wetlands, horizontal subsurface flow wetlands, and free-water surface flow wetlands. The chosen design segments each phase of the treatment process into a different portion of the flower and butterfly, and beautiful flowers, such as Cannae and Heliconia, are planted in the wetlands to make it
aesthetically pleasing.

Decentralised wastewater management using constructed wetlands in Nepal

In Nepal, the Environment and Public Health Organization (ENPHO) with technical support from a Nepali Ph.D Scholar from University of Natural Resource and Applied Life Sciences Vienna introduced CW for wastewater treatment in 1997 by constructing the first plant at Dhulikhel Hospital (Shrestha, 1999).

Since then, the interest in this technology has been growing and more than a dozen constructed wetlands have been established for various applications such as the treatment of hospital wastewater, grey water, septage, landfill leachate, institutional wastewater and municipal wastewater.

The first constructed wetland treatment plant in Dhulikhel was designed to treat 10 m3 /day of wastewater but it is successfully treating more than four times that amount. (Shrestha et. al, 2000) Satisfied with the performance of the treatment plant, the hospital is now expanding the capacity of the plant.

Recently, ENPHO with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), UNHABITAT, WaterAid Nepal, Madhyapur Thimi Municipality and the local people have established the first community-based wastewater treatment system in Nepal using this technology. The Urban Environment Improvement Project (UEIP) which is being implemented in eight urban
centres with the assistance ADB is now in the process of constructing 18 more plants in these towns. A list of operating CWs in Nepal is given in Table 2. (Shrestha and Shrestha, 2004).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Europe Aid - brief summary of Dr. Koos Richelle and Gary Quince

Hi, last week I were in Bruxelles for the seminar "Water supply and wastewater treatment in EU external aid programmes". Here there where interesting presentations on different aspects on EU actions and funds.

Dr. Richelle, director general of Europe Aid (, held an interesting presentation. He had talk about the MDGs-goal n. 7 and target 10 (halve by 2015 the proportion of people without basic sanitation), target 31 ( proportion of people with access to improved sanitation, urban and rural).
He also report that 2,5 billion of people do not have access to sanitation.

From 2004 to 2009 the EU Commission programmes with a budget of 2,145 euro billion, gave access to improved drinking water to 32 million of persons and improved sanitation facilities to 9,5 million persons (That's great!)

Dr. Quince, director of ACP area in Europe Aid, said that in 2009 were signed contracts under EDF for 4,3 euro billion, were lunched 75 tenders for
works contracts and 125 tenders for service contracts.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


What about the Millenium Development goals ( targets but how many of these are really accessible with this Society?

for example the 2010 target 7B Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss:

  • The world has missed the 2010 target for biodiversity conservation, with potentially grave consequences
  • Key habitats for threatened species are not being adequately protected
  • The number of species facing extinction is growing by the day, especially in developing countries
  • Overexploitation of global fisheries has stabilized, but steep challenges remain to ensure their sustainability

  • The world is on track to meet the drinking water target, though much remains to be done in some regions
  • Accelerated and targeted efforts are needed to bring drinking water to all rural households
  • Safe water supply remains a challenge in many parts of the world
  • With half the population of developing regions without sanitation, the 2015 target appears to be out of reach
  • Disparities in urban and rural sanitation coverage remain daunting
  • Improvements in sanitation are bypassing the poor

For the target 7.C we are still on time to run this challenge... and treatment wetlands could be one of the right ways to reach the points above to improve the sanitation on rural areas

Monday, October 18, 2010

NEWS: the modular system for stormwater treatment

The Modular Wetland System - Linear utilizes multi-stage treatment processes including the revolutionary filter media (BioMediaGREEN) for primary filtration followed by a 4th generation sub-surface flow wetland for biological remediation of stormwater treatment. The Modular Wetland System - Linear incorporates capture, screening, hydrodynamic separation, advanced media filtration, bioretention, and high flow bypass into a modular pre-cast concrete structure.
Great idea, important innovation in wetland systems. (more info at the official web site:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

significant systems in Hokkaido... they work very well!!!

Here I present some good realizations of wetland systems build in the cold Hokkaido island in Japan where Winter time is severe. My dear friend Kunihiko Kato, researcher at National Agricultural Research Center for Hokkaido Region (Japan) design six treatment wetlands for animal wastewater (pigs, dairy milking parlour) and agroindusty (potato starch processing). The photos below show the plants before and after plants growing, how they are integrated in the environment and a spectacular image under snow.
Dr. Kato follow by chemical analysis the performance of all the plants and they are very good, with an average reduction of 80% for total phosphorus, 90 % for COD, 80 % for total nitrogen. Congratulation Kunihiko.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

small treatment wetland

Here two particular small wetland systems build for two person, both in North of Italy. Great plants, great flowers (canna and lythrum), perfect functioning...(source

wastewater gardens international

I'm glad and honored to tell to everybodies that now I'm officially member of the great international team "WASTEWATER GARDENS" established by Mark Nelson at Biosphere project.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

project Fitosuini

Here again some photos of the great constructed wetland for the treatment of swine effluents. 110 m2 of bed treat 2-3 cubic meters. As soon as possible few data of the treatment performances.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

the best Treatment wetlands books

I list below the best books you can use for design and understand the wetland systems (buy online on or

Constructed Wetlands in the Sustainable Landscape

(Craig S. Campbell, Michael Ogden)

Treatment Wetlands, Second Edition

(Robert H. Kadlec, Scott d Wallace)

Biogeochemistry of Wetlands: Science and Applications

(K. Ramesh Reddy, Ronald D. DeLaune)

Wetland Plants: Biology and Ecology

(Julie K. Cronk , M. Siobhan Fennessy)

Wastewater Treatment in Constructed Wetlands with Horizontal Sub-Surface Flow (Environmental Pollution)

(Jan Vymazal, Lenka Kröpfelová)

Small Scale Constructed Wetland Treatment Systems: Feasibility, Design Criteria and O&M Requirements (Werf Reports)

(S D Wallace, R L Knight)

Efficient Management of Wastewater, Its Treatment and Reuse in Water Scarce Countries”,

(Al Baz Ismail, Otterpohl Ralf, Wendland Claudia)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Constructing a wetland model

Fantastic.. visit the site, build up your own domestic wetland and play with it.From the "play-with-water" web site I report this summary that allow you to build up a teaching wetland:

Time requirement

  • Preparation time: 2-3 hours (incl. shopping)
  • Teaching time: 1.5 hours

Material requirement

  • 1 transparent plastic box 35*23*31cm
  • 15 kg of gravel 4-16mm
  • 25 litre of expanded clay (LECA) 1-4 mm
  • 2 plastic buckets (10 litres)
  • 25 cm transparent plastic hoses, diameter 20 mm
  • 1 plastic water tap (with screw and nut)
  • 1 measure cup 1 litre
  • 1 measuring tape (tailor)
  • 1 roll adhesive tape
  • plants: e.g. indoor plants,
    Umbrella Papyrus (
    Cyperus alternifolius), rush (Juncus spec.)
  • additional equipment (scissors, pen, sponge, towel, paper, etc.)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

UNEP & constructed wetland

The United Nations Environment Programme

International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC)

Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

have a specific focus on Water and Sanitation ActivitiesAbuot this, they speech on Phytotechnology and Water. From the web site:

"The term Phytotechnology is the application of science and engineering to study problems and provide solutions involving vegetation to a variety of environmental conditions. It is based on use of the ecosystem services provided by plants. Some examples of its application include the reduction and control of pollution through wetland systems, restoration of degraded natural or industrial land, carbon sinks and ameliorating the effects and impacts of climate change.

IETC application of Phytotechnology relates to the use of wetlands for water quality, and sanitation improvement, wastewater treatment as well as for the restoration of degraded aquatic ecosystems. Artificially constructed wetlands are considered as one of the best options due to their low costs and environmental and social friendliness particularly when compared with other conventional technological approaches. To facilitate the design of artificial subsurface flow wetlands a software application has been developed (SubWet 2.0) while SufWet 1.0 for surface flow wetland systems, and WetRestore wetland restoration assessment.

IETC has implemented a project in Brazil using SubWet 2.0 and Iraq to treat domestic wastewater. The forthcoming project Sanitation and Water Efficiency Enhancing Technologies (SWEET) uses SubWet 2.0 as one of the main tools. A self-learning Interactive Training Package considering the above mentioned software application and others will be produced during the 2010."

More info about the vision of UNEP on constructed wetland:

great idea in The Radix Ecological Sustainabilty Center

In the site you can find a lot of great solutions to promote ecological literacy and environmental stewardship through educational programs based around demonstrations of sustainable technologies.

The following constructed wetland was developed by Radix Center: Fantastic!

from the site "This system consists of several bathtubs filled with gravel, which have water plants growing inside them. Wastewater passing through the aerobic root zones of the plants is cleaned by the bacteria living there. The bacteria consume organic nutrients while the plants themselves uptake nitrogen and phosphorus. By the time it exists the system, the water has been made safe for reuse in irrigating vegetable crops. Plants used in this system include: bulrush, taro, cattail, papyrus, swamp hibiscus, canna lilly and phragmittes reeds.