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Treatment wetlands

Treatment wetlands — Links and references

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Monitoring guidelines to quantify nitrogen removal in vegetated water treatment systems

Water sensitive urban design technical design guidelines for South East Queensland

Wetland Technical Design Guideline

Wetland Design Manual

Construction and Establishment Guidelines: Swales, Bioretention Systems and Wetlands, Version 1.1, April 2010

Wetland Management Handbook:Farm Management Systems (FMS) guidelines for managing wetlands in intensive agriculture

Case studies

Farm drains and constructed wetlands as denitrifying systems, Wet Tropics (video)

Proof of concept: Barratta Creek Constructed Wetland, Burdekin (video)

Design features of a constructed wetland at Blacks Beach, Mackay (video)

Sediment management on a banana farm, including a constructed wetland (video)

Banana farming for healthier wetlands case study (PDF, 0.3 MB)

Managing wetlands in intensive agricultural systems (cane farming case study) (PDF, 3.5 MB)

Treatment Train improves cane farm runoff and irrigation (Mackay area, 2006)

Local plant species guides

Wetland Plants of the Wet Tropics (PDF)

Wetland Plants of the Townsville-Burdekin Floodplain


Adame, M, Vilas, M, Franklin, H, Garzon-Garcia, A, Hamilton, D, Ronan, M and Griffiths, M (2021) A conceptual model of nitrogen dynamics for the Great Barrier Reef catchments. Marine Pollution Bulletin 173(Pt A):112909.

Adame, M.F., Franklin, H., Waltham, N., Rodriguez, S., Kavehei, E., Turschwell, M., Balcombe, S., Kaniewska, P., Burford, M. and Ronan, M. (2019). Nitrogen removal by tropical floodplain wetlands through denitrification. Marine and Freshwater Research 70: 1513–1521.

Adame, M.F., Roberts, M.E., Hamilton, D.P., Ndehedehe, C.E., Reis, V., Lu, J., Griffiths, M., Curwen, G. and Ronan, M. (2019) Tropical coastal wetlands ameliorate nitrogen export during floods. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 671.

Alluvium (2016). Costs of achieving the water quality targets for the Great Barrier Reef by Alluvium Consulting Australia for Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Brisbane

Bachand, P.A.M. and Horne, A.J. (2000) Denitrification in constructed free-water surface wetlands: II. Effects of vegetation and temperature. Ecological Engineering 14: 17-32.

Breen, P., Markwell, K., Walsh, G. and Henderson, C. (2012) Constructed stormwater wetland designfor the dry and wet tropics [online]. In: WSUD 2012: Water sensitive urban design; Building the water sensitive community; 7th international conference on water sensitive urban design. Barton, A.C.T.: Engineers Australia, 2012: 28-37.

Browning, K. and Greenway, M. (2003) Nutrient removal and plant biomass in a sub-surface flow constructed wetland in Brisbane, Australia, Water Sci Technol. 48(5):183-9

Carleton, J.N., Grizzard, T.J., Godrej, A.N. and Post, H.E. (2001) Factors affecting the performance of stormwater treatment wetlands. Wat. Res. 35(6): 1552-1562.

De Klein, J.M. and van der Werf, A.K. (2014) Balancing carbon sequestration and GHG emissions in a constructed wetland, Ecological Engineering 66: 36–42.

Davis, A.M., Pearson, R.G., Brodie,J.E. and Butler, B. (2017) Review and conceptual models of agricultural impacts and water quality in waterways of the Great Barrier Reef catchment area. Marine and Freshwater Research 68: 1-19

Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (2011) Wetland Management Handbook: Farm Management Systems (FMS) guidelines for managing wetlands in intensive agriculture. Queensland Wetlands Program,Brisbane (PDF, 6.0 MB)

Dhote, S. and Dixit S.,(2009) - Water quality improvement through macrophytes—a review. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, - Springer

Díaz, F.J., O′geen, A.T. and Dahlgren, R.A. (2012) Agricultural pollutant removal by constructed wetlands: Implications for water management and design. Agricultural Water Management 104: 171–183.

Dotro, G., Langergraber, G., Molle, P., Nivala, J., Puigagut, J., Stein, O. and von Sperling, M. 2017 Volume 7 Treatment Wetlands in Biological Wastewater Treatment Series. IWA pubishing, London.

EDAW AECOM and BMT WBM (2009) Stormwater modelling and Treatment for Rural Industry: Training course notes and presentation. Developed for the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Brisbane.

E2DesignLab (2014) Constructed (treatment) wetlands: Fact sheet. Queensland Wetlands Program, Brisbane.

Faulwetter, J.L, Gagnon, V., Sundberg, C., Chazarenc, F., Burr, M.D, Brisson, J., Camper, A.K. and Stein, O.R. (2009) Microbial processes influencing performance of treatment wetlands: A review. Ecological Engineering 35:987-1004.

Fink, D.F. and Mitsch, W.J. (2004) Seasonal and storm event nutrient removal by a created wetland in an agricultural watershed, Ecological Engineering 23 (2004): 313–325

Gachango, F.G., Pedersen, S.M. and Kjaergaard, C. (2015) Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Surface Flow Constructed Wetlands (SFCW) for 601 Nutrient Reduction in Drainage Discharge from Agricultural Fields in Denmark. Environmental Management 56:1478–1486.

Greenway, M. (2003) Suitability of macrophytes for nutrient removal from surface flow constructed wetlands receiving secondary treated sewage effluent in Queensland, Australia. Water Science and Technology 48: 121–128.

Greenway, M. (2005) The role of constructed wetlands in secondary effluent treatment and water reuse in subtropical and arid Australia. Ecological Engineering 25 (2005): 501–509

Gude, V.G., Magbanua, B.S. and Truax, D.D. (2014) Natural Treatment and onsite processes. Water Environment Research 86 (10): 1217-1249.

Hammer, D.A. (1992) Designing constructed wetlands systems to treat agricultural nonpoint source pollution. Ecological Engineering 1:49-82

Hansen, A.T., Campbell, T., Choa, S.J., Czubaa, J.A., Dalzellf, B.J., Dolphh, C.L., Hawthorne, P.L., Rabotyagovk, S., Langk, Z., Kumarasamym, K., Belmontm, P., Finlayh, J.C., Foufoula-Georgioua, E., Grano, K.B., Kling, C.L., and Wilcock, P. (2021) Integrated assessment modeling reveals near-channel management as cost-effective to improve water quality in agricultural watersheds, PNAS 2021 (118) e2024912118

Hansen, A. T., Dolph, C. L. and Finlay, J.C. (2016). Do wetlands enhance downstream denitrification in agricultural landscapes? Ecosphere 7(10):e01516.

Hefting, M.M., van den Heuvel, R.N. and Verhoeven, J.T.A. (2013) Wetlands in agricultural landscapes for nitrogen attenuation and biodiversity enhancement: Opportunities and limitations, Ecological Engineering 56 (2013):5– 13

Hey, D.L., Kostel, J.A., Crumpton, W.G., Mitsch, W.J. and Scott, B. (2012) The roles and benefits of wetlands in managing reactive nitrogen, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 67(2):47A-53A

Huang, L, Gao, X., Guo, J., Ma, X. and Liu, M. (2013) A review on the mechanism and affecting factors of nitrous oxide emission in constructed wetlands, Environ Earth Sci 68:2171–2180

International Water Association, 2000. Constructed Wetlands for Pollution Control. Processes, Performance, Design and Operation. IWA Publishing, London, 156 pp.

Jahangir, M.M.R., Richards, K G., Healy, M.G., Gill, L., Müller, C., Johnston, P. and Fenton, O. (2016) Carbon and nitrogen dynamics and greenhouse gas emissions in constructed wetlands treating wastewater: a review, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20:109–123

Jenkins, G.A. and Greenway, M. (2005) The hydraulic efficiency of fringing versus banded vegetation in constructed wetlands. Ecologial Engineering 25: 61–72.

Kadlec, R.H., Knight, R.L., Vymazal, J., Brix, H., Cooper, P. and Haberl,R. (2000) Constructed wetlands for pollution control: processes, performance, design and operation. IWA Publishing, London.

Kadlec, R.H. (2008) The effects of wetland vegetation and morphology on nitrogen processing. Ecological Engineering 33:126-141.

Kadlec, R.H. (2009) Wastewater treatment at the Houghton Lake wetland: Hydrology and water quality, Ecological Engineering 35:1287–1311

Kadlec, R.H. (2010) Nitrate dynamics in event-driven wetlands, Ecological Engineering 36:503–516

Kadlec, R. H. (2012) Constructed marshes for nitrate removal, Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology 42:934-1005.

Kadlec, R.H., Wallace, S., 2008. Treatment Wetlands, 2nd edition. CRC press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

Kavehei,E., Roberts, M.E., Cadier, C., Griffiths, M., Argent, S., Hamilton, D.P., Lu, J., Bayley, M. and Adame, F. (2021) Nitrogen processing by treatment wetlands in a tropical catchment dominated by agricultural landuse. Marine Pollution Bulletin 172 (2021) 112800.

Kohler, E.A., Poole, V.L., Reicher, Z.J. and Turco, R.F. (2004) Nutrient, metal, and pesticide removal during storm and nonstorm events by a constructed wetland on an urban golf course, Ecological Engineering 23:285–298

Land, M., Graneli, W., Grimvall, A., Hoffmann, C.C., Mitsch, W.J., Tonderski, K.S. and Verhoeven, J.T. (2016) How effective are created or restored freshwater wetlands for nitrogen and phosphorus removal? A systematic review. Environmental Evidence 5, 9.

Langergraber, G., Dotro, G., Nivala, J., Rizzo A. and Stein O.R. (2019) Wetland Technology - Practical Information on the Design and Application of Treatment Wetlands. IWA Publishing, London.

Lee, C. G., Fletcher, T. D. and Sun, G. (2009) Nitrogen removal in constructed wetland systems. Engineering in Life Sciences 9(1): 11-22.

Li, J., Zheng, B., Chen, X., Li, Z., Xia, Q., Wang, H., Yang, Y., Zhou, Y. and Yang, H. (2021) The use of constructed wetland for mitigating nitrogen and phosphorous from Agricultural runoff: a review. Water 13, 476.

Lin, Y., Jing, S., Lee, D. and Wang, T. (2002) Nutrient removal from aquaculture wastewater using a constructed wetlands system. Aquaculture 209: 169-184.

Lu, S., Wu, F., Lu, Y., Xiang, C., Zhang, P., Jin, C. (2009) Phosphorus removal from agricultural runoff by constructed wetland. Ecological Engineering 35: 402–409.

Mander, Ü., Dotro, G., Ebie, Y., Towprayoon, S., Chiemchaisri, C., Furlan Nogueira, S., Jamsranjav, B., Kasak, K., Truu, J., Tournebize, J., Mitschi, W.J. (2014) Greenhouse gas emission in constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment: A review, Ecological Engineering 66:19–35

Melbourne Water (2017) Wetland Design Manual, Melbourne Water, Melbourne.

Mitsch, W.J., Day, J.W., Zhang,L. and Lane, R.R. (2005) Nitrate-nitrogen retention in wetlands in the Mississippi River Basin, Ecological Engineering 24: 267–278

Mitsch, W.J. and Day Jr W.J. (2006) Restoration of wetlands in the Mississippi–Ohio–Missouri (MOM) River Basin: Experience and needed research, Ecological Engineering 26:55–69

Mitsch, W. J., Zhang, L., Marois, D. and Song, K. (2015). Protecting the Florida Everglades wetlands with wetlands: Can stormwater phosphorus be reduced to oligotrophic conditions? Ecological Engineering 80: 8-19.

Moreno-Mateos, D., Pedrocchi, C., Comín, F.A., García-Antón, M. and Cabezas, A. (2007) Creating wetlands for the improvement of water quality and landscape restoration in semi-arid zones degraded by intensive agricultural use. Ecological Engineering 30: 103–111.

NRW (2000) Guidelines for using free water surface constructed wetlands to treat municipal sewage. Natural Resources and Water, Brisbane.

Obarska-Pempkowiak, H. and Kimkowska, K. (1999). Distribution of nutrients and heavy metals in a constructed wetland system. Chemosphere 39(16): 3929-3937.

Palmer-Felgate, E.J., Acreman, M.C., Verhoeven, J.T.A., Scholz, M., Maltby, E., Stratford, C.J., Newman, J., Miller, J. and Coughlin, D. (2013) How effective are reedbeds, ponds, restored and constructed wetlands at retaining nitrogen, phosphorus and suspended sediment from agricultural pollution in England? Environmental Evidence 2013, 2:1

Persson, J., Somes, N.L.G. and Wong, T.H.F. (1999) Hydraulics efficiency of constructed wetlands and ponds. Wat, Sci, Tech. 40(3): 291-300.

Rai, P.K. (2008) Heavy Metal Pollution in Aquatic Ecosystems and its Phytoremediation using Wetland Plants: An ecosustainable approach, International Journal of Phytoremediation, 10(2):133 - 160

Raisin, G., Mitchell, D. and Croome, R. (1997) The effectiveness of a small constructed wetland in ameliorating diffuse nutrient loadings from an Australian rural catchment. Ecological Engineering 9: 19–35.

Reef Catchments (2015) Sediment Detention Basin, Ecosystem Repair Project, Reef Catchments, Mackay

Roberts, M.E., Lu, J., Kavhei, K. and Adame, M.F. (2021) A sensitivity analysis of a water quality model for a constructed wetland. 24th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM), Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Rozema, E. R., VanderZaag, A. C., Wood, J. D., Drizo, A., Zheng, Y., Madani, A., & Gordon, R. J. (2016). Constructed Wetlands for Agricultural Wastewater Treatment in Northeastern North America: A Review. Water, 8(5), 173.

Shelef, O., Gross, A. and Rachmilevitch, S. (2013) Role of plants in a constructed wetland: Current and new perspectives. Water 5:405–419.

Sheoran, A.S. and Sheoran, V. (2006) Heavy metal removal mechanism of acid mine drainage in wetlands: A critical review, Minerals Engineering 19:105–116

Sherrard, R.M., Bearr, J.S., Murray-Gulde, C.L., Rodgers Jr. J.H., Shahd, Y.T. (2004) Feasibility of constructed wetlands for removing chlorothalonil and chlorpyrifos from aqueous mixtures, Environmental Pollution 127: 385–394

Shutes, R.B.E. (2001) Artificial wetlands and water quality improvement. Environment International 26(5-6):441-7

Smith, A.S. and Jacinthe, P. (2014) A mesocosm study of the effects of wet–dry cycles on nutrient release from constructed wetlands in agricultural landscapes, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 16: 106

Sukias, J.P.S., Tanner, C.C., de Winton, M., Larned, S., (2016) Constructed wetland attenuation of nutrient inflows to Te Wahihora/Lake Ellesmere. In: Integrated nutrient and water management for sustainable farming. (Eds L.D. Currie and R.Singh). Occasional Report No. 29. Fertilizer and Lime Research Centre, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. 14pp.

Tanner, C.C. (2013) Bottoms or Tops? –Optimising Location of Wetlands in Catchments to Maximise Efficiency, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Hamilton, New Zealand

Tanner, C.C., Kadlec, R.H. (2013) Influence of hydrological regime on wetland attenuation of diffuse agricultural nitrate losses, Ecological Engineering 56:79– 88

Tournebize, J., Chaumont, C. and Mander, Ü. (2017) Implications for constructed wetlands to mitigate nitrate and pesticide pollution in agricultural drained watersheds, Ecological Engineering 103 (B): 415-425

Townsville City Council Water Sensitive Urban Design: design requirements for WSUD technologies in the coastal dry tropics. Fact Sheet, Townsville City Council.

Taylor, A. (2005) Structural stormwater quality BMP cost–size relationship information from the literature. Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology, Melbourne, 53-64.

Waltham, N.J., Wegscheidl, C.J., Smart, J.C., Volders, A., Hasan, S. and Waterhouse, J. (2017) Scoping options to transition low-lying, high DIN risk, sugarcane land to alternative use in Wet Tropics catchments. Report to the National Environmental Science Programme. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited, Cairns (170pp.).

Vymazal, J. (2007) Removal of nutrients in various types of constructed wetlands. Science of the Total Environment 380: 48–65.

Vymazal, J. (2013) Emergent plants used in free water surface constructed wetlands: A review. Ecological Engineering 61:582–592.

Vymazal, J. and Březinová, T. (2015) The use of constructed wetlands for removal of pesticides from agricultural runoff and drainage: A review, Environment International 75:11–20

Vymazal, J. (2011) Long-term performance of constructed wetlands with horizontal sub-surface flow: Ten case studies from the Czech Republic, Ecological Engineering 37: 54–63

Walker, D.J. and Hurl, S. (2002) The reduction of heavy metals in a stormwater wetland, Ecological Engineering 18:407–414

Wallace, J. and Waltham, N.J. (2021) On the potential for improving water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon using constructed wetlands. Marine Pollution Bulletin 170 (2021) 112627

Water by Design (2010). Construction and Establishment Guidelines: Swales, Bioretention Systems and Wetlands, South East Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership, Brisbane, Queensland.

Water by Design (2017) Wetland Technical Design Guideline, Water by Design, Brisbane.

Weber T., de Groot A., Hamilton D., Yu S. and Bayley M. 2021. QWMN Wetlands Hydrology Models Review. Report to the Queensland Water Modelling Network. Alluvium Consulting, Griffith University and Australian Wetlands Consulting

Weber, T (2018) Pers. Comm.

Weinheimer, I. (2015) Wastewater Treatment using Tidal Flow Wetlands, A dissertation submitted by Ms Ina Weinheimer In fulfilment of the requirement of Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) University of Southern Queensland, Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences.

Wong, T., Fletcher, T., Duncan, H., Coleman, J. and Jenkins, G. 2002. A model for urban stormwater improvement conceptualization. Global Solutions for Urban Drainage (2002): 8-13.

Zhi, W.and Ji, G. (2012) Constructed wetlands, 1991–2011: A review of research development, current trends, and future directions, Science of the Total Environment 441:19–27

Main illustration by Lana Baskerville using IAN symbols library.


In addition to the standard disclaimer located at the bottom of the page, please note the content presented is based on published knowledge of treatment systems. Many of the treatment systems described have not been trialled in different regions or land uses in Queensland. The information will be updated as new trials are conducted and monitored. If you have any additional information on treatment systems or suggestions for additional technologies please contact us using the feedback link at the bottom of this page.

Last updated: 24 May 2022

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2022) Treatment wetlands — Links and references, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation