Wetland treatment train

Reef Catchments has been awarded funding from the Queensland Government DEHP to study the water quality benefits of constructed wetland treatment trains. The study occurred from 2017 to 2020.

Treatment trains use natural processes to eliminate runoff pollutants like sediment and nutrients, ensuring cleaner water to the catchment, rivers and ultimately the Great Barrier Reef.

Constructed wetland treatment trains use multiple chambers to treat water as it moves through the individual structures or basins. Included within the structures is a shallow macrophytes zone where reeds take up nutrients for their own growth. A biofilm, similar to an algae around the reeds, and the reeds themselves, also use nutrients for their growth, removing excess from the water. Within the design can be a deep chamber which landholders can utilise to pump extra water to irrigate crops, providing good production benefits. A larger biodiversity wetland area also provides a native wetland improving ecosystem services and detains water on the property for as long as possible before entering the receiving waters.

JCU Tropwater researchers collated and Interpreted the dataset from this project and identified improvements to water quality.

Here is a recently published paper by Carlos Bueno using the deidentifield water quality data from the treatment train projects at Bakers Creek and Brightly areas.

Further information from Carlos Bueno

More information on the effectiveness of these treatment systems.