Integrated Constructed Wetlands provide a low cost and low maintenance option for sustainable water treatment.


An Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) is a multi-disciplinary approach to the total management of contaminated waters, incorporating natural interactions of water, land and air.

VESI Environmental provide designs, construction and management of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. Our focus is on delivering a wide range of ecosystem services for the benefit of both humans and the natural environment.

How does an Integrated Constructed Wetland work?


An Integrated Constructed Wetland is series of shallow ponds (generally 4-7) connected by pipework and densely planted with a mix of emergent wetland vegetation.

Effluent is generally pumped from the village or faciilty to a tank or settlement pond where it flows by gravity to each pond before discharge to a stream or river.

ICWs are licenced under the same EPA discharge licence system as traditional wastewater treatment systems.

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What are suitable situations for an Integrated Constructed Wetland to be used?

Treatment of sewage effluent

Single houses, housing developments/ conglomerations, villages, towns, hotels and commercial/industrial units.

Agricultural

Treatment of runoff waters, wash waters and effluents for dairy, beef, poultry, piggery farms.

Industrial

Mining, quarrying, food processing, recycling facilities.

Civic

Landfill leachate, sludge dewatering, stormwater drainage, golf courses.

Can you provide me with some information on how the effluent is treated?

Our years of research and practical application allow us to treat effluent efficiently using a variety of methods. These include:

Hydrological functions:

  • Through the reduction of flow volume and velocity using dense planting.
  • Utilising the slow rate of water movement which aids the settling of pollutant particles. For example, Phosphorus.
  • Using atmospheric processes including evapotranspiration and interception.

Water-quality functions:

  • Through the trapping of sediment.
  • Taking advantage of biochemical processes that take place as water enters, is stored in, or leaves a wetland.
  • Including plants that develop a microfilm on their roots that facilitates microbial communities that in turn ‘feed’ on nutrients in the waste-water.
  • Utilising anaerobic digestion (along with other processes) which are carried out in the leaf litter that settles to the base of the ponds.
  • Maxmising the wetland environment so that it provides opportunities for a diversity of other (non emergent) plants and animals, the interaction of which contributes to the overall biological function of the constructed wetland.