Constructed wetlands (CWs) are well recognized as having low construction and maintenance cost and low energy requirement. However, CW design has been mainly based on rule-of-thumb approaches. In this study, the efficiency of a modular horizontal subsurface flow (HSSF) CW using four different design schemes was investigated. Based on the results, the four systems have attained more than 90% removal of total suspended solids and more than 50% removal efficiency for total phosphorus, PO4-P and Zn. The planted system achieved higher pollutant removal rates than the unplanted system. In terms of media, bottom ash was more effective than woodchip in reducing the pollutants. Considering the flow length, optimum removal efficiency was achieved after passing the sedimentation tank and vertical media layer; with respect to depth, more pollutants were removed in the upper sand layer than in the lower gravel layer. This study recommended a surface area of 0.25 to 0.8% of catchment area for planted CW and 0.26 to 0.9% for unplanted CW using the 7.5 to 10 mm design rainfall.

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