Constructed Floating Wetlands


SPEL Stormwater introduces Guest Speaker Dr. Peter Schwammberger presenting his research into rapid plant responses following relocation of a Constructed Floating Wetland from a construction site into an urban stormwater retention pond. 

The webinar will run for 45 minutes with a 15-minute Q&A session after the presentation. A CPD certificate will be available for all attendees.

About the webinar

Constructed Floating Wetlands (CFWs) are an emerging BMP, that consist of a buoyant structure planted with macrophytes. CFWs plants acquire nutrients for growth from the water where they form a dense root network that provides a large surface area for biofilm growth. The root network and biofilm physically filter and trap suspended solids and make pollutants available for adsorption, absorption, and incorporation into plant tissue. Their buoyancy allows them to adjust to water level variations and to be installed in most open-water bodies such as urban lakes, stormwater retention ponds, streams, and rivers. CFWs provide passive, low maintenance, and operationally simple water treatment solution that enhances habitat, recreational and aesthetic values within the urban landscape. 

In this webinar, Dr. Schwammberger presents research on two large-scale CFWs which were recently trialed in Australia to treat stormwater runoff during the construction of a 45-ha greenfield urban development. Two CFWs (total area of 2088 m2) were installed in a 2.6-ha lake at the commencement of the construction works. During construction of urban development sites, runoff can contain high amounts of suspended solids that are washed off exposed ground. Nutrient availability for CFW plants largely depends on the influx of soil and land use prior to construction. Thus, nutrient concentrations in stormwater runoff can be low during construction and may change rapidly due to urbanisation (including fertilisation of lawns and landscaping) upon completion of urban developments. The research investigated plant responses in a CFW located within a newly constructed urban lake and compared them to components of the same CFW after relocation to an older, established water body. 

About Dr. Peter Schwammberger

Dr. Schwammberger is a research scientist at the University of the Sunshine Coast. His main teaching areas are Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Systems with a research focus on Water Sensitive Urban Design practices. He recently completed his PhD on constructed floating wetlands for stormwater treatment in urban environments. Part of his research involved monitoring and evaluating the plant nutrient uptake, microbial composition, and stormwater treatment performance of a 2000 sqm constructed floating wetland in a 2.6-ha manmade lake located in subtropical Queensland, Australia.

Dr. Schwammberger has both research and industry experience in urban water system engineering, having completed a Master of Environmental Engineering at the Technical University of Munich in 2012 before going on to work as a Project Manager in urban infrastructure projects. His industry experience saw him specialising in water engineering, in particular water supply and wastewater treatment systems and Water Sensitive Urban Design. 

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