Water Sensitive SA

Detailed design of wetlands

In-house training

Detailed design of wetlands (PDF)

Learning objective

Learn how to design successful constructed stormwater wetlands that meet multiple design objectives, including:

  • Stormwater runoff pollution reduction
  • Long-term function
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Effective integration with public spaces and other infrastructure
  • High-amenity value

Design engineers and landscape architects (local government and consulting)


01 – Introduction

02 – Wetland overview

  • Wetland types
  • Functional elements
  • How they work

03 – Design for multiple benefits

  • Pollutant removal
  • Harvesting and re-use
  • Integration with public open space
  • Habitat

04 – Wetland design process

  • Concept
  • Functional and detailed design

05 – Sizing and design flows

  • Estimations using MUSIC
  • Choosing rainfall period
  • Catchment characteristics
  • Soil parameters
  • Input parameters for MUSIC

06 – Sediment basins

  • Sediment capture efficiency
  • Clean out frequency/sediment volume estimates

07 – Macrophyte zone

  • Role of: Vegetation, open water zones
  • Ratio open water: macrophytes, wetland bathymetry, hydraulic effectiveness, planting regimes, mosquito management

08 – Planting selection

  • Botanic design
  • Inundation tolerances
  • Core species for each zone

09 – Activity 1

  • Undertake concept design, select an appropriate location for and size a wetland

10 – Site visit

  • First Creek Wetland, Adelaide Botanic Gardens
  • Local wetland nominated by client

11 – Structures and flow control

  • Inlet structures
  • Inlet zone connections with macrophyte zone
  • Macrophyte zone outlet
  • Outlet details in MUSIC
  • High flow bypass structures

12 – Wetland hydrology

  • Inundation frequency analysis
  • MUSIC Auditor wetland analysis tool

13 – Maintenance and monitoring

  • Maintenance regimes
  • Access design requirements
  • Water level controls
  • Sediment de-watering areas

14 – Activity 2

  • Undertake calculations for sizing of wetland structures
  • Select plants for various wetland zones

Peter Breen, E2Designlab
Dale Browne, E2Designlab

Core competencies attained

An understanding of:

  • the different wetland zones and their function: deep pools; transitions between deep and shallow water; shallow water; temporary inundation areas; and the upper bank that ties the wetland into its surroundings
  • vegetation for nutrient removal, bank stability and aesthetics suitable for each zone
  • growing medium specifications
  • inlet and outlet structures
  • opportunities for wetlands to provide greater amenity/ landscape value.

Price on application

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