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Constructed wetlands can be a site for further processing of wastewater, or alternatively be viewed as a treatment site themselves, bypassing the need to process wastewater in a treatment plant. According to the Wikipedia natural wetlands act as a biofilter to remove sediments and pollutants such as heavy metals from the water, and contructed wetlands can be designed to emualte these features. An understanding of these processes is fundamental not only to designing wetland systems but to understanding the fate of chemicals once they have entered the wetland. Theoretically, treatment of wastewater within a constructed wetland occurs as it passes through the wetland medium and the plant rhizosphere.
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Constructed wetlands in Australia
Associate Professor Margaret Greenway has carried out extensive research on constructed wetlands in Australia
ConstructedWetlands.org provides useful resources, projects and reference material on research and development on constructed wetlands as alternatives to conventional wastewater treatment plants.
US EPA- Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment and Wildlife Habitat – provides details of 17 case studies
State of Georgia – Guidelines for constructed wetlands of municipal wastewater (pdf)
US Geological Survey – Patuxent Wildlife Research Center – Constructed wetland for tertiary wastewater treatment