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Vegetated drains

Vegetated drains — Links and references

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Carey, B.W., Stone, B., Norman, P.L. and Shilton, P. (2015) Soil conservation guidelines for Queensland, Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, Brisbane.

Castaldelli, G, Soana, E, Racchetti, E, Vincenzi,F, Fano, E,A and Bartoli, M (2015) Vegetated canals mitigate nitrogen surplus in agricultural watersheds. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 212: 253-262.

Castaldelli, G, Aschonitis, V, Vincenzi, F, Fano, E and Soana, E, (2018) The effect of water velocity on nitrate removal in vegetated waterways. Journal of Environmental Management 215: 230-238.

Curran, K and Bayley, M. (2018) Defining the role of vegetated drains at mitigating DIN loads within the Tully and Johnstone Catchments. Australian Wetlands Consulting, Bangalow.

DeBose, J., Coppo, C., McIntyre, R., Nelson, P., Karim, F., Davis, A. and Brodie, J. (2014) Effectiveness of vegetated systems in managing contaminated runoff from sugarcane and banana farms to protect off-farm aquatic ecosystems, particularly the Great Barrier Reef. TropWATER Report No. 14/10, Centre for Tropical Water & Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER), James Cook University, Townsville, 118pp.

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

Hodaj, A, Bowling, L, Frankenberger, J and Chaubey, I, (2017) Impact of a two-stage ditch on channel water quality. Agricultural Water Management 192: 126-137.

Iseyemi, O,O, Farris, J,L, Moore, M,T, and Choi,S (2016) Nutrient mitigation efficiency in agricultural drainage ditches: an influence of landscape management. Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 96:750-756.

Kavehei, E and Adame, F (2021) Vegetated drains for water quality improvement in the Wet Tropics. ARI Report No. 2021/ Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Brisbane.

Kavehei, E, Hasan, S, Wegscheidl, C, Griffiths, M, Smart, JCR, Bueno, C, Owen, L, Akrami, K, Shepherd, M, Lowe, S & Adame, F (2021) Cost-effectiveness of treatment wetlands for nitrogen removal in tropical and subtropical Australia. Water 2021, 13, 3309.

Kumwimba, N, Meng, F, Iseyemi, O, Moore, M, Zhu, B, Tao, W, Liang, T and Ilunga, L, (2018) Removal of non-point source pollutants from domestic sewage and agricultural runoff by vegetated drainage ditches (VDDs): Design, mechanism, management strategies, and future directions. Science of the Total Environment 639: 742-759.

Moore, M, Denton, D, Cooper, C, Wrysinski, J, Miller, J, Reece, K, Crane, D and Robins, P, (2008) Mitigation assessment of vegetated drainage ditches for collecting irrigation runoff in California. Journal of Environmental Quality. 37(2): 486-93.

Moore, M, Denton, D, Cooper, C, Wrysinski, J, Miller, J, Werner, I, Horner, G, Crane, D, Holcomb, D and Huddleston, G, (2011) Use of vegetated agricultural drainage ditches to decrease pesticide transport from tomato and alfalfa fields in California, USA. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 30(5): 1044-1049.

Reichenberger, S., Bach, M., Skitschak, A. and Frede, H. (2007) Mitigation strategies to reduce pesticide inputs into ground- and surface water and their effectiveness; a review. Science of the Total Environment 384: 1-35.

Roley, S, Tank, J, Stephen, M, Johnson, L, Beaulieu, J and Witter, J, (2012) Floodplain restoration enhances denitrification and reach-scale nitrogen removal in an agricultural stream. Ecological Applications. 22(1): 281-297.

Soana, E, Balestrini, R, Vincenzi, F, Bartoli, M and Castaldelli, G (2017) Mitigation of nitrogen pollution in vegetated ditches fed by nitrate-rich spring waters. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 243:74-82.

Soana, E, Gavoilo, A, Tamburini, E, Fano, E,A and Castaldelli, G (2018) to mow or not to mow: reed biofilms as denitrification hotspots in drainage canals. Ecological Engineering 113:1-10.

Sharpley, A,N, Krogstad, T, Kleinman, P,J, and Haggard, B, (2007) Managing natural processes in drainage ditches for nonpoint source phosphorus control. Journal of soil and water conservation 62: 197-206.

State of Queensland (2015) Soil conservation waterways – planning and design. Science Notes Land series L272, Queensland Government, Brisbane. Soil conservation waterways planning and design - Science Notes - Soil and Land Management | Publications | Queensland Government

State of Queensland (2015) Soil conservation waterways – construction and management. Science Notes Land series L270, Queensland Government, Brisbane. Soil Conservation Waterways - Construction and Management - Science Notes - Soil and Land Management | Publications | Queensland Government

State of Queensland (2015) Soil conservation waterways –plants for stabilisation. Science Notes Land series L271, Queensland Government, Brisbane. Soil conservation waterways - plants for stabilisation - Science Notes - Soil and Land Management | Publications | Queensland Government

United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (2007) Chapter 10 Two-stage Channel Design. In: Stream Restoration Design National Engineering Handbook (Part 654). USDA, NRCS, USA.

Vymazal, J and Brezinova, TD (2018) Removal of nutrients, organics and suspended solids in vegetated agricultural drainage ditch. Ecological Engineering 118:97-103.

Xiaona, L, Weiwei, Z, Chunqiao, Z, Hongjie, L and Ruishuang, S, (2020) Nitrogen interception and fate in vegetated ditches using the isotope tracer method: A simulation study in northern China. Agricultural Water Management 228 (2020) 105893.

Useful links

Monitoring guidelines to quantify nitrogen removal in vegetated water treatment systems

Soil conservation guidelines for Queensland

Preventing and managing erosion, including links to soil conservation waterways factsheets

Edge of block factsheets for extension officers

Riparian Land Management Technical Guidelines Volume 2 On-Ground Management Tools and Techniques

Designing filter strips to trap sediment and attached nutrients

Queensland Wetland Buffer Planning guideline

Wetland Management Handbook

Wetland buffer case study: Lake Broadwater

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: 26 May 2022

This page should be cited as:

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

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation