Vertical flow constructed wetlands for small communities (<5,000 population equivalent) have been successfully developed in France since the 1990s (currently about 3'000 plants are in operation). This paper summarizes the results and efficiencies of 70 plants designed and built by Epur Nature or SINT. The results show clearly that the design performs well for organic matter removal and nitrification and makes sludge management easy. Therefore if well designed, such systems can achieve an outlet quality of BOD5 < 20 mg/L, chemical oxygen demand <90 mg/L, suspended solids <30 mg/L and TKN < 15 mg/L. In addition, some new configurations involving a French vertical first stage fed with raw sewage, patented by Epur Nature, are presented as an aid to reduce the global footprint.

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