Five tactics for successful design and implementation of Constructed Wetlands for treatment of mine-impacted waters

Constructed Wetland Treatment Systems (CWTSs) can be built to treat a wide variety of impacted water types, including many of those produced or affected through mining operations. CWTSs offer natural environments that harbor unique biogeochemical conditions, designed to promote favorable reactions specific to treatment of targeted constituents in waters needing renovation. Offering effective treatment that is solar-energy driven, that tolerates deviations in flow and contaminant load, that can effectively treat multiple constituents, and that has increased effectiveness over time, CWTSs are an innovative but time-proven means for water treatment. Unfortunately, some CWTSs have failed, and overall, CWTSs have come to be viewed in some circles as having low predictability. Both failures and unpredictable performance can be linked to five common mistakes in their design and implementation. Here we will cover these common mistakes, and outline steps to avoid them and ensure predictable and effective performance of CWTSs.
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