Clogging in subsurface-flow treatment wetlands: measurement, modeling and management

Water Res. 2012 Apr 15;46(6):1625-40. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2011.12.051. Epub 2011 Dec 30.


This paper reviews the state of the art in measuring, modeling, and managing clogging in subsurface-flow treatment wetlands. Methods for measuring in situ hydraulic conductivity in treatment wetlands are now available, which provide valuable insight into assessing and evaluating the extent of clogging. These results, paired with the information from more traditional approaches (e.g., tracer testing and composition of the clog matter) are being incorporated into the latest treatment wetland models. Recent finite element analysis models can now simulate clogging development in subsurface-flow treatment wetlands with reasonable accuracy. Various management strategies have been developed to extend the life of clogged treatment wetlands, including gravel excavation and/or washing, chemical treatment, and application of earthworms. These strategies are compared and available cost information is reported.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Flocculation
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Waste Management / methods*
  • Water Movements*
  • Water Purification / methods*
  • Wetlands*