SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.44 issue4Effect of altitude on erosive characteristics of concurrent rainfall events in the northern KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Water SA

On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738


BONNER, Ricky; AYLWARD, Lara; KAPPELMEYER, Uwe  and  SHERIDAN, Craig. Combining tracer studies and biomimetic design principles to investigate clogging in constructed wetlands. Water SA [online]. 2018, vol.44, n.4, pp.764-770. ISSN 1816-7950.

In this study, we suggest a clogging maintenance strategy and design alteration for constructed wetlands. Such a system could benefit rural communities who rely solely on constructed wetland systems for provision of household and agricultural water and for whom regular system shut-down for maintenance is essentially not viable. A newly established, pilot-scale horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetland was investigated by means of step-change tracer experiments. Sampling was carried out at multiple points down the length of the wetland and at three depths for each location. The mean residence time data were used to generate velocity profiles. This methodology enabled the development of a three-dimensional hydraulic model to identify dead zones and regions of short-circuiting within the system. Biomimetic principles were then incorporated to propose improvements to conventional constructed wetland design, which would potentially allow for better clogging management and continuous operation. In particular, modularizing the regions of the wetland most prone to clogging (those containing dead space) would accommodate isolation, removal and replacement of such sections, while still allowing treatment of wastewater in adjacent sections.

Keywords : wastewater treatment; step-change tracer study; velocity profiles; constructed wetland; clogging.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License