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Water 2014, 6(11), 3362-3385; doi:10.3390/w6113362

Constructed Wetlands for Treatment of Combined Sewer Overflow in the US: A Review of Design Challenges and Application Status

1
State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 1 Forestry Dr., Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
2
CH2MHILL, 4350 W. Cypress St., Tampa, FL 33607, USA
3
National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA Lyon), 5 rue de la Doua, CS70077, Villeurbanne 69626, France
4
Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University, 204 Heroy Geology Laboratory, Syracuse, NY 13244-1070, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 August 2014 / Revised: 13 October 2014 / Accepted: 28 October 2014 / Published: 10 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wetlands and Sustainability)
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Abstract

As combined sewer systems and centralized wastewater treatment facilities age, many communities in the world are challenged by management of combined sewer overflow (CSO). Constructed wetlands are considered to be one of the green infrastructure solutions to CSOs in the US. Despite the wide application of constructed wetlands to different types of wastewaters, the stochastic and intermittent nature of CSO presents challenges for design and performance assessment of constructed wetlands. This paper reviews the application status of CSO constructed wetlands in the US, assesses the benefits of CSO constructed wetlands, identifies challenges to designing CSO constructed wetlands, and proposes design considerations. This review finds that constructed wetlands are effective in CSO treatment and relatively less expensive to build than comparable grey infrastructure. Constructed wetlands not only remove pollutants, but also mitigate the event-associated flow regime. The design challenges include incorporating considerations of green infrastructure into permit requirements, determining design capacity for highly variable flows, requiring pretreatment, and needing adaptive design and intensive monitoring. Simultaneous monitoring of flow rate and water quality at both the inflow and outflow of CSO constructed wetlands is required for performance assessment and needed to support design, but is rarely available. View Full-Text
Keywords: combined sewer overflow; constructed wetland; event-driven wetland; floating wetland island; performance assessment; flow mitigation; wet weather flow; green infrastructure; permit; retention soil filter combined sewer overflow; constructed wetland; event-driven wetland; floating wetland island; performance assessment; flow mitigation; wet weather flow; green infrastructure; permit; retention soil filter
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tao, W.; Bays, J.S.; Meyer, D.; Smardon, R.C.; Levy, Z.F. Constructed Wetlands for Treatment of Combined Sewer Overflow in the US: A Review of Design Challenges and Application Status. Water 2014, 6, 3362-3385.

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