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Increasing Hydraulic Residence Time in Constructed Stormwater Treatment Wetlands with Designed Bottom Topography

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The treatment efficiency of wetlands depends primarily on the residence time of the polluted storm water ( Walker, 1998). Because of this, increasing hydraulic residence times (HRTs) at various flow levels will increase the treatment efficiency of constructed wetlands. In this research, the effects of characteristic bottom topographic features that increase HRT were explored through the use of a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model. Based on numerical simulations of rectangular test wetlands, relationships were made between topographic features and their effects on HRT. Results from the simulations showed that creating baffled wetlands with multiple vertical-scale topography can markedly increase HRT, as is illustrated in a design example. When compared (using the hydrodynamic model) with a wetland having no bottom topography, the design example wetland increased HRT by 113% for the low-flow (142 L/sec) peak flood, and 39% for the 2-year flood event (1700 L/sec).

Keywords: residence time; stormwater wetlands; wetland design; wetland modeling; wetland topography

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2006

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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