Water Sensitive SA

Constructed wetland maintenance

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Constructed wetland maintenance

This training session has sold out – we are considering holding another session July/August 2024, please click on the REGISTER NOW button and add your name to the waitlist, and we will be in touch soon.

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Learn about the science and function of constructed wetlands, and be guided through the application of Water Sensitive SA’s Inspection and Maintenance Guidelines – Wetlands, before putting it all into practice undertaking a field assessment of the beautiful First Creek wetlands. You will also have a chance to test the theory against your own case study wetland.

Learning objective

To assist participants build their capacity for maintaining constructed wetlands to optimise water quality outcomes, essential ecosystems service provision, amenity enhancement and public space integration.

Images of a creek and flowers

Who should attend?

  • Local Government asset managers
  • Landscape architects
  • Maintenance crews
  • Supervisors/managers responsible for maintenance of WSUD assets
  • Others interested in the maintenance of WSUD assets

Course content

01 – Introduction

  • Changes to Greater Adelaide landscape since colonisation
  • The role of constructed wetlands in landscapes
  • Ecosystem services provision

02 – Functional components

  • Form and function of constructed wetland components
  • Macrophyte (wetland plant) form and function

03 – Maintenance planning

  • Maintenance planning tasks
  • Routine inspections using Water Sensitive SA guidelines and condition assessment tools and e-forms
  • Performance indicators and water quality targets
  • Sediment basin maintenance
  • Macrophyte zone maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Forward planning for maintenance

04 – Field application

  • Inspect functional components of the First Creek Wetlands and complete the relevant forms.

Core competencies attained

This course will provide a foundational understanding of the need for routine inspection and maintenance of these highly valuable assets, and provide tips for troubleshooting and maintenance planning in real-world constructed wetlands.

You will gain an understanding of:

  • Constructed wetland systems – what they are and how they work (functional components) with reference to natural wetland form and function.
  • Opportunities for constructed wetlands to provide greater water re-use, amenity, landscape services and ecological value through proactive operations and maintenance.
  • Pre-treatment systems and their maintenance regimes, including knowing when and how to de-silt sediment basins.
  • Maintenance of inlets, including high-flow bypass structures, and outlet structures, weirs and other structures
  • Different types of wetland plants (macrophytes), their functions in constructed wetlands and tips for establishing and maintaining native plants based on this understanding.
  • Strategies for minimising the presence of pest fauna and flora species, including environmental weeds, algae and overabundant native species.
  • Managing the water regime within the wetland complex to enhance ecological function and water quality treatment performance (if operationally possible).
  • Developing targets for wetland performance based on indicators of water quality and ecological health with a focus on turbidity as a catchment scale target.
  • Monitoring and interpreting results for required wetland performance requirements, e.g. discharge to receiving waters, injection into aquifer for managed aquifer recharge scheme.
  • Safe work protocols for constructed wetland maintenance and operations.

What to bring

Participants are encouraged to select a case study wetland prior to the workshop and bring along a laptop, maps, designs, hard copy plans, aerial photos or other materials to use throughout the day. A case study package will be provided to participants that do not have a case study wetland who can work on a laptop or in hard copy.

  • An iPad/android tablet with internet access OR mobile phone (to access the online electronic maintenance forms).
    Note: An iPad or tablet is preferred, if possible, for readability of the information, however the electronic maintenance form will also work on a smart phone. Please contact us if you have any issues accessing either of these devices for the training.
  • Safety vest
  • Hat
  • Closed in shoes

Ticketed car parking is available on Plane Tree Drive and in front of the Goodman Building and State Herbarium (in front of the Rose Garden, closest to the Hackney Gate), accessed from Hackney Road.

Further instructions and costs are available on the Botanic Gardens website, scroll down to “Parking”.


  • $350 + GST and booking fee – Water Sensitive SA Partners, Stormwater SA members
  • $550 + GST and booking fee – Non-partners

Meet your trainer

Dr Kerri Muller has joined the Water Sensitive SA team in 2023 as its Principal Ecologist, and is an expert in constructed wetlands.

Kerri has been working on constructed wetlands since the 1990s when she undertook her PhD on greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands constructed for stormwater and sewage treatment, and organised a constructed wetlands tour around Adelaide for national and international delegates as part of the Australian Society for Limnology 1996 annual conference. Over the ensuing years, Kerri’s career has been highly diverse but management of wetlands, whether they be natural, managed natural or constructed, has remained at the forefront of her work. Kerri has prepared more than 40 environmental water infrastructure management plans, including the weir pool operation plan for the SA River Murray Locks 6 to 1, the barrage operating strategy for Lakes Alexandrina and Albert and operational plans for 45 managed natural or constructed wetlands across South Australia’s regional and urban catchments. Kerri is currently working as Principal Ecologist for Water Sensitive SA in a capacity building role as well as running her own consulting business. After 20 years trading as Kerri Muller NRM, she is creating a new brand, AU2100, which focuses on budling natural capital for the year 2100 and beyond.


Noel Lothian Hall, State Herbarium of South Australia
Hackney Road
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Register Now
March 21 @ 9:00 am
March 21 @ 5:00 pm
Noel Lothian Hall, State Herbarium of South Australia
Hackney Road

Acknowledgement of Country

Water Sensitive SA acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon, and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.