Our Services in Constructed Wetland Design
Wetlands are the ‘kidneys of the earth’, purifying water through its natural interaction with soils and plants. ‘Constructed’ wetlands are becoming an increasingly popular means of surface water and wastewater disposal, thanks to their low operational cost and the benefit they offer to the environment in terms of biodiversity and amenity. They work well in mitigating the effects of diffuse pollution from agriculture and highways, two of the most significant sources of pollution in our water catchments.
Water Design Engineers has an experienced and excellent understanding of the relationship between soil, water and plants due to our knowledge of irrigation design. Combined with our experience in wastewater engineering, we are of sound pedigree when it comes to constructed wetland design. We are members of the Constructed Wetland Association (CWA) and our designs adhere to industry recognised codes and guidance.
Our wetland designs are robust, intended to last the length of the associated assets, which can be well over 100 years. There is no such thing as maintenance-free, but we design for maintenance to be as safe and practical as possible. To ensure the wetland is performing as per design, we advocate an appropriate level of automation to mitigate the risk of prosecution.
Not knowing whether a wetland is performing and having no failsafe mechanism in place in the event of non-performance can be a deterrent to clients considering wetlands as a viable solution. While incorporating natural processes, constructed wetlands are still a type of treatment plant. When it comes to compliance with environmental permits, the Environment Agency uses the tagline ‘no data, no defence’.
In the UK we are facing a period of significant, impacting changes with the new Environment and Agricultural Acts. Targets for net-zero carbon emissions, biodiversity net gain and ecosystem services present new challenges for both the built environment and agriculture. When appropriately designed, constructed wetlands provide multiple benefits of provision for flood and stormwater storage; treatment and mitigation of pollutants; carbon sequestration; and provision of habitat for wildlife. They are going to play a vital role in meeting the challenges ahead.