A Mechanistic Simulation Model of a Constructed Wetland Designed to Remove Organic Matter from Stormwater Runoff

Michael L. Shelley and Leslie A. Mudgett

DOI: 10.2190/QK80-6C1V-VM0R-T3KJ


A numerical simulation model is presented for a surface-water-fed constructed wetland with a pretreatment detention pool for flow control. The model combines system hydrology with processes thought to be important in the removal and treatment of low levels of dissolved organic matter typical of stormwater runoff. A mechanistic system dynamics approach is used to explore system behavior under reasonable ranges of values of environmental conditions and potentially important design parameters. Generalized results are presented, giving insight into the importance or unimportance of such factors in influencing treatment efficiency of organic matter. Results demonstrate the importance of factors which control organic loading and available surface area for biofilm development, and the relative unimportance of factors controlling flow velocity, for example. Wetland surface area is an important design parameter with competing effects requiring optimization. Model equations are presented and can be employed in numerical simulation to study optimum design strategies for a specific location with defined environmental conditions.

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