The treatment efficiency of a wetland constructed for nutrient removal depends strongly on the flow patterns and residence times of the wetland. In this study, a tracer experiment was performed to estimate the residence time distribution and the hydraulic efficiency of a treatment pond with shallow and deep‐water areas. Rhodamine WT experiments revealed a non‐uniform flow pattern in the deep‐water area and an overall poor hydraulic efficiency in the wetland. To improve flow uniformity and hydraulic efficiency, several design options for different inlet-outlet configurations, flow rates, water depths, and emergent baffle additions were considered. The effects on hydraulic performance were investigated through mathematical model simulations. The results revealed that increasing the flow rate and decreasing the water depth slightly improved the hydraulic performance, whereas changing the positions of the inlet and outlet produced inconsistent effects. The most effective improvement involved installing emergent baffles, with the number of baffles presenting the largest positive effect, followed by the width and length of the baffles. Long and thin baffles resulted in a uniform flow velocity field, a meandering flow path, and greater residence times and effective volume ratios. The installation of two baffles increased the hydraulic efficiency to 1.00, indicating excellent hydraulic performance. The thin baffles occupied approximately 3.7%-6.3% of the deep‐water area and 1.9%-3.2% of the entire pond, indicating the potential for their practical application in limited land use regions.
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