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Constructed Wetlands Treating Storm Water Runoff

Storm water runoff is defined as the water sourced from rain or melting snow flowing over the surface of the land. The quantity of the runoff is largely dependent on the type of land on which the rain falls and flows over. In forests and grassy field, due to the pervious nature of the soil, most of the rain is either absorbed or evaporated, producing small amount of runoff. On the contrary, the developed areas with their impervious surfaces generate large amounts of storm water runoffs. As they flow over the surfaces, they become rich in pollutants. The storm water runoffs are harmful to the ecology influencing water quality, aquatic biota and temperature of natural water bodies like streams and lakes (Ten Towns Great Swamp Watershed Management Committee, n.d.).

In order to avoid the harmful effects of storm water runoff, storm water management techniques are employed. There are a number of storm water best management practices available to treat the storm water runoff, which are both structural systems which are engineered and constructed and non structural pollution prevention techniques. Constructed wetlands are one of the methods of treating the runoff flow (Sayre, et al., 2006).

Also, the above cited examples have shown that the constructed wetlands can be used for treating storm water which is contrary to the previously held assumption. The wetlands have also introduced some modern trends in the designing of constructed wetlands. These include multi-train configurations as oppose to the earlier constructed wetland designs which involve single flow trains and relatively low aspect ratio cells as oppose to earlier designs which were constructed with long and narrow cells. (Higgins & Maclean, 2002).

The above cited example case study show the effectiveness of constructed wetlands in treating storm water runoffs. The data from many similar projects testify to the fact that the constructed wetland improves the storm water runoff quality. The mechanisms at work in wetlands are quite effective in the removal of pollutants. In addition to that, the wetlands support wildlife habitat and landscaping (Surrency, n.d.). Hence, there are dual benefits attached with this type of green technology.

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