Constructed Wetlands For Water Pollution Control

Name of course: Constructed Wetlands For Water Pollution Control

ECTS credits: 5

 Course parameters:
Language: English
Level of course: PhD students and young researchers. Priority will be given to GSST PhD students
Time of year: 18 – 24 June 2017
No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like: The work load is 130 hours, corresponding to 5 ECTS.  Additional time commitment is between 30 to 50 hours for preparation for the course and assignments
Capacity limits: Maximum number of participants: 24

Objectives of the course:
The aim of the course is to provide participants with

  • an overview of different types of constructed wetland systems, their applicability and their limitations
  • a thorough understanding of the processes of importance for the transformation and removal of nutrients and various pollutants in wetlands,
  • the capability to prepare draft designs of constructed wetland systems for specific application using commonly accepted design tools
  • an overview of current research needs, methodologies and options.

Learning outcomes and competences:
At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • characterize biogeochemical processes of importance for nutrient removal in wetlands,
  • describe the functional role of different types of wetland plants in wetlands,
  • describe different types of constructed wetland systems, their applicability and limitations,
  • characterize the hydraulics of constructed wetland systems
  • characterize pollutant removal pathways and removal kinetics
  • prepare initial draft designs of constructed wetland systems for wastewater treatment

Compulsory programme:
Preparatory readings, active participation during the course and a final assignment

Course contents:
The course will provide an overview of the ecology of freshwater wetlands including hydrology, wetland soil biogeochemistry, and wetland plant ecophysiology. The processes responsible for the transformation of organic matter, nutrients and micropollutants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the wetland environment will be described. The state-of-the-art in design techniques based on hydraulics and pollutant removal models in different types of constructed wetland systems will be demonstrated. Practical design guidelines and management aspects such as system layout, compartmentalization, substrate selection, inlet and outlet structures, plant selection and planting will be presented. The use of constructed wetland for the treatment of different types of wastewaters, such as domestic and different types of industrial wastewaters, will be demonstrated through case-stories from around the World, including systems established in different climate (cold-temperate areas, sub-tropics and tropics, arid and semiarid areas).

The students should have background in environmental sciences, water quality and biological processes.

Name of lecturers:

  • Dr. Carlos A. Arias, Senior Researcher, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Prof. Hans Brix, Head of the Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Dr. Carl Christian Hoffmann, Senior Researcher, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Dr. Pedro Carvalho, Researcher Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Dr. Tom Headley, Head of Ecological Engineering at Water and Carbon Group, Australia
  • Dr. Peder Gregersen, CEO Centre for Recycling, Denmark
  • MSc. Rene Killian, CEO Killian Water, Denmark

Type of course/teaching methods:
Teaching will be mainly through lectures. However, theoretical exercises and plenary discussions will also be arranged where participants will be required to prepare designs of wetland systems for the treatment of various types of contaminated water based on case-stories, and using existing design tools. Systems dealt with include surface flow and subsurface flow treatment wetlands, vertical flow systems, intensified constructed wetland systems, evaporative zero-discharge systems, free-floating macrophyte treatment systems, sludge treatment reed beds, stormwater treatment systems, and in-catchment agricultural runoff treatment systems. Excursions to full-scale constructed wetland systems will be arranged.

Kadlec and Wallace (2009) Treatment wetlands (second edition)
Material provided during the course
Reading material previous to the course

Course homepage:

Course assessment:
Pass/fail on the basis of satisfactory participation in the course and on the written report that has to be prepared and submitted one week after the course. Prior to the course, each participant will be asked to prepare a poster addressing the main parts of their own research.

Department of Bioscience

Special comments on this course:
The registration fee is 7.500 DKK (ca. 1000 EUR) which covers participation in the course, including excursions, accommodation and all meals from dinner the 18 June till breakfast the 24 June.

Time: Sunday 18 June – Saturday 24 June 2017

Place: The course will be held at the Mols Laboratory ( in the Mols Bjerge National park (

Registration:Please register in the webshop before the 10th of May 2017 using the following link: .

You will be asked to provide a brief description of your academic background as well as the relevance of the course for you. Information regarding admission will be sent out no later than 15th of May 2017.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Carlos A. Arias, Department of Bioscience,Aarhus University, Ole Worms Allé 1, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark