Back to All Events

2019 Conference | Session - 4A Constructed Wetlands for Rural Wastewater Treatment

  • BSU Student Uion - Jordan Ballroom 1700 West University Drive Boise, ID, 83706 United States (map)

TITLE:  "Constructed Wetlands for Rural Wastewater Treatment"

Presenter: Alison Tomkins

Approved LACES Health Safety course


Small communities have a small tax base, limited funding, limited staffing, and must still meet all federal and state requirements for the treatment of wastewater. Many small communities in the United States are now facing the challenging problem of how to replace aging rural infrastructure like wastewater treatment systems with limited resources. This is compounded by increasingly stringent water quality standards for treated effluent. Constructed wetlands provide a cost-effective solution for wastewater treatment that can be applied to small communities, and provide sustainable benefits that traditional engineered systems cannot, such as wildlife habitat, energy savings, irrigation water, and recreation area. Case studies of effective wastewater treatment wetlands are presented. Cost, effectiveness, and benefits of a constructed wastewater treatment wetland are compared to traditional systems to demonstrate the value and feasibility of constructed wastewater treatment wetlands. Permitting and funding logistics are discussed, with specific examples from a rural community in Idaho.  

Learning Objectives:

1.      Understand the challenges small communities and design professionals face related to aging wastewater treatment infrastructure and meeting increasingly stringent water quality standards

2.      Know the different types of constructed wetlands used for wastewater treatment

3.      Know the benefits and challenges of using constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment

4.      Know how to permit and fund a constructed wastewater treatment wetland