Next Article in Journal
Exploring the Potential Impact of Serious Games on Social Learning and Stakeholder Collaborations for Transboundary Watershed Management of the St. Lawrence River Basin
Next Article in Special Issue
Performance of a Constructed Wetland and Pretreatment System Receiving Potato Farm Wash Water
Previous Article in Journal
Effects of Wash-Out Dynamics on Nitrifying Bacteria in Aerobic Granular Sludge During Start-Up at Gradually Decreased Settling Time
Previous Article in Special Issue
Decline in Performance of Biochemical Reactors for Sulphate Removal from Mine-Influenced Water is Accompanied by Changes in Organic Matter Characteristics and Microbial Population Composition
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Water 2016, 8(5), 173;

Constructed Wetlands for Agricultural Wastewater Treatment in Northeastern North America: A Review

School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
Science and Technology Branch, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A OC5, Canada
Department of Soil, Water and Climate, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108-6028, USA
School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alan Howard
Received: 1 March 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 27 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructed Wetlands Systems and Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [237 KB, uploaded 27 April 2016]


Constructed wetlands (CW) are a treatment option for agricultural wastewater. Their ability to adequately function in cold climates continues to be evaluated as they are biologically active systems that depend on microbial and plant activity. In order to assess their performance and to highlight regional specific design considerations, a review of CWs in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern USA was conducted. Here, we synthesize performance data from 21 studies, in which 25 full-scale wetlands were assessed. Where possible, data were separated seasonally to evaluate the climatic effects on treatment performance. The wastewater parameters considered were five-day biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), total suspended solids (TSS), E. coli, fecal coliforms, total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), ammonia/ammonium (NH3/NH4+-N), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), and total phosphorus (TP). Average concentration reductions were: BOD5 81%, TSS 83%, TKN 75%, NH4+-N 76%, NO3-N 42%, and TP 64%. Average log reductions for E. coli and fecal coliforms were 1.63 and 1.93, respectively. Average first order areal rate constants (ka, m·y−1) were: BOD5 6.0 m·y−1, TSS 7.7 m·y−1, E. coli 7.0 m·y−1, fecal coliforms 9.7 m·y−1, TKN 3.1 m·y−1, NH4+-N 3.3 m·y−1, NO3-N 2.5 m·y−1, and TP 2.9 m·y−1. In general, CWs effectively treated a variety of agricultural wastewaters, regardless of season. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural wastewater; cold climate; constructed wetlands; water treatment agricultural wastewater; cold climate; constructed wetlands; water treatment
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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Rozema, E.R.; VanderZaag, A.C.; Wood, J.D.; Drizo, A.; Zheng, Y.; Madani, A.; Gordon, R.J. Constructed Wetlands for Agricultural Wastewater Treatment in Northeastern North America: A Review. Water 2016, 8, 173.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top