This research was conducted to investigate the phosphorus forms present in water, soil and sediment and to estimate the phosphorus mass balance in a surface flow constructed wetland (CW). Water quality and sediment samples were collected from each cell along the hydrologic path in the CW from October 2008 to December 2010. At the same time, three dominant plant species (e.g. common reed and cattails) were observed through the measurement of the weight, height and phosphorus content. Based on the results, the orthophosphate constituted 24–34% of total phosphorus in water for each cell. The overall average phosphorus removal efficiency of the CW was approximately 38%. The average inflow and outflow phosphorus loads during the monitoring period were 1,167 kg/yr and 408 kg/yr, respectively. The average phosphorus retention rate was 65%, was mainly contributed by the settling of TP into the bottom sediments (30%). The phosphorus uptake of plants was less than 1%. The estimated phosphorus mass balance was effective in predicting the phosphorus retention and release in the CW treating wastewater. Continuous monitoring is underway to support further assessment of the CW system and design.

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