The Des Plaines River Wetlands Demonstration Project has reconstructed four wetlands in Wadsworth, Illinois, USA. The river drains an agricultural and urban watershed, and carries a non-point source contaminant load of sediment, nutrients and agricultural chemicals. Up to 40% of the average stream flow is pumped to the wetlands, and allowed to return from the wetlands to the river through control structures followed by vegetated channels. Native wetland plant species have been established, ranging from cattail, bulrushes, water lilies, and arrowhead to duckweed and algae. Pumping began in the summer of 1989, and has continued during the ensuing spring, summer and fall periods. The experimental design provides for different hydraulic loading rates, ranging from 5 to 60 cm/week. Intensive wetland research began in late summer 1989, and continues to present. Detailed hydrology is measured for each wetland. Sediment removal efficiencies ranged from 86–100% for the four cells during summer, and from 38–95% during winter. Phosphorus removal efficiencies ranged from 60–100% in summer and 27–100% in winter. The river contains both old, persistent and modem, degradable agricultural chemicals. The principal modem pollutant is atrazine, of which the wetlands remove approximately half. The project is successfully illustrating the potential of constructed wetlands for controlling non-point source pollution at an intermediate position in the watershed.
Research Article|February 01 1994
Constructed Wetlands for River Water Quality Improvement
R. H. Kadlec
Water Sci Technol (1994) 29 (4): 159-168.
R. H. Kadlec, D. L. Hey; Constructed Wetlands for River Water Quality Improvement. Water Sci Technol 1 February 1994; 29 (4): 159–168. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.1994.0181
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