A Vertical Flow Constructed Wetland is a filter bed that is planted with aquatic plants. Wastewater is poured or dosed onto the wetland surface from above using a mechanical dosing system. The water flows vertically down through the filter matrix. The important difference between a vertical and horizontal wetland is not simply the direction of the flow path, but rather the aerobic conditions. By dosing the wetland intermittently (four to ten times a day), the filter goes through stages of being saturated and unsaturated, and accordingly, different phases of aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The frequency of dosing should be timed such that the previous dose of wastewater has time to percolate through the filter bed so that oxygen has time to diffuse through the media and fill the void spaces. The Vertical Flow Constructed Wetland can be designed as a shallow excavation or as an above ground construction. Each filter should have an impermeable liner and an effluent collection system. Vertical Flow Constructed Wetlands are most commonly designed to treat wastewater that has undergone primary treatment.
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