Constructed ponds and wetlands are widely used in urban design to serve a number of functions including stormwater management. The design of constructed wetlands for stormwater management involves a number of multi-disciplinary inputs. Fundamental to their sustainable operation are the proper control of the hydrologic regime of the wetland and optimal flow hydrodynamics within the wetland. Many ofthe problems encountered in constructed wetlands can be minimised or avoided by good engineering design principles. Poor wetland hydrodynamics are often identified as a major contributor to wetland management problems. Ponds and wetlands with a high hydraulic efficiency are expected to promote full utilisation ofthe available detention storage and near plug flow conditions. The shape and layout of urban ponds and wetlands are often varied to suit the landscape and to satisfy aesthetic requirements as an urban water feature. These can be achieved while maintaining an effective stormwater treatment outcome if steps are taken to ensure that the hydrodynamic behaviour of the system is not severely compromised. A consistent measure is required to allow the effects of design features to be evaluated against this criterion. This paper introduces a new measure for hydraulic efficiency that combines existing measures of flow uniformity and effective volume. Case studies are presented on the use of this measure to assess the effects of different pond and wetland shapes, locations of inlet and outlet, botanical layouts and basin morphology on the flow hydrodynamics.

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