Wednesday, December 21, 2011

South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)

When I was no no... in 1997 I made a study trip in Florida (USA). It was a umid and typical Florida July (fantastic).
I had the opportunity to visit the SFWMD and in particular the Everglades Nutrient Removal Project. This is a component of the Everglades Restoration Program as demonstration treatment area (3800 acres, one of the largest treatment wetland in the world).
The ENR project has the following ojectives:
1) reduce the total phosphorus loads and minimize the imbalances in everglades flora and fauna
2) develop design and construction criteria for large scale application of Treatment Wetlands
3) implement optimal nutrient removal technology.
Over 100 parameters were monitored, also inflow and outflow were measured and also vegetation has been monitored 

... to be continued...(I'm searching the photo of the trip)...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Alpine Hut "Casera Bosconero" treatment wetlands

Well, at 1498 m above sea level in the beautiful italian Dolomites (now as UNESCO World Heritage)  there is the Casera Bosconero alpine hut. This is locate in Forno di Zoldo municipality and from 2005 is active a treatment wetland. This is part of the project ENERGIANOVA set up by the IMAGE department of Padova University.
Here we build up two horizontal beds, sealed with a double line of bentonite, filled with local gravel, and planted with local mountain species. The beds receive 1 mc/day originated by the maximun 30 persons that can sleep in the hut.
the two beds in 2007
flowering of   senecio cordatum's  plants in 2010
development of the senecio's plants in 2011 Summer
me with an international wetland conference delegation visiting the site.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

sustainable sanitation and water management

Hi, read this useful and good web site there are a lot of useful information and "Linking up Sustainable Sanitation, Water Management & Agriculture" as they say in the home page.

There is also a well build section on treatment wetlands: Wastewater Treatments 

in the hardware side there are explications about free water systems, horizontal systams, vertical systems and also hybrid systems.

Read all the articles and you will find in the bottom of the pages a good, complete and free download library about treatment wetlands!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

sizing and designing of Treatment wetlands (part 1)

By R Kadlec in the Bible of Treatment wetlands (2nd edition):
"The preliminary step in the design of a treatment wetland is to acquire a fundamental understanding of the site of the wetland. Site conditions dictate the physical, chemical, and biological environment of a wetland treatment system. Conditions that should be evaluated during planning of a wetland treatment system include climate, geography, groundwater and its chemistry, soils and geology, rainfall and runoff water chemistry, biology, and socioeconomic factors. The importance of each of these conditions may vary, but all should be investigated to some extent. Detailed studies may be needed to determine the importance of those site conditions that affect technical feasibility."
Well, stated this above how can we design and sizing a treatment wetlands?
It's true, we always need to know where we are! I've a friends in WWG that travel around the world from Africa to Asia, from cold to warm climate location and is really important knowing where we are before starting the wetlands sizing.
The design of subsurface flow wetlands may be roughly divided into two categories: sizing calculations and physical specifications. There are different sizing methodologies for sub surface wetlands. There are also physical considerations, including the number of cells, layout, liners, bed depth, media size, plants, and water level control. It is recognized that subsurface wetlands are not stand-alone treatment devices but rather form part of an overall treatment process (Kadlec 2nd edition, mod.).

MOREL and DIENER 2006 Horizontal CW.jpg

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A school in Gaza Strip... with a treatment wetland inside!!!

Here two photos made in the new school in the community of Um Al Nasser in Gaza Strip.
This is an international project coordinated by an Italian ONG Vento di Terra, Arcò and the

Now 120 student 3 to 6 years old and eight teachers have their beautiful new school and the 850 persons that live in that community have an indirect benefit.
This treatment plant was designer by artecambiente srl and me! THAT'S GOOD!

Friday, December 2, 2011

more on Ko Phi Phi island treatment wetland

another good picture from the Butterfly treatment wetland system build in Ko Phi Phi island by Hans Brix. As you can see it is really green, it is really smart, it is really good for this beautiful place!
See this past post for more details about this plant:

A Constructed Wetland for Sewage Treatment, Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
This travel blog photo's source is TravelPod page: Before We Leave... Anyone Have to Ko Phi Phi?

Good picture from France ... in the garden!

Beautiful treatment wetlands in France directly inside the homegarden (photo by Edwige Le Douarin, Aquatiris, France, 2010, get in Ecology, green technology, buildings aspects, everythings turn around treatment of wastewater!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Italian Economic Crisis

Hi to all, just few words to explain my opinion about current Italian Economic Crisis. 
It is not a problem in the social situation, is just a financial speculation. Here the restaurants are full, we still drive cars though diesel and gasoline cost more than 1,5 euro, people still made shopping and so on. It's just financial crisis not at population level.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Recycled plastic water bottles getting new use in coastal restoration project

Yes, another goal for treatment floating wetlands!  From local news in Louisiana:

"Bottles take up so much of our landfill and now, we can maybe use it to protect something that really needs protecting," said Nicole Waguespack, with Martin Ecosystems, a Baton Rouge-based company which developed the floating islands.
Full video at:

The islands are several inches thick and feel like brillo pads. They contain a series of holes, evenly spaced out, where marsh grasses can be planted. Each one holds between 50 to 60 plants a piece. The idea is, once the islands are anchored, the plants will grow and the roots will eventually collect sediment-- helping build new land within six months to a year.However, an unusual idea is now planting itself here. Over the next several days, 300 volunteers will work to assemble and plant floating islands, which are made out of recycled plastic water bottles.
"We'll put the islands next to those existing marshes and they will act as a buffer to protect the current existing marshes," said Buddy Boe of America's Wetland Foundation. "What we're doing is a restoration and an experiment all at the same time."
The experiment doesn't come cheap, though. They're setting up 1,500 feet of floating islands at a cost of $80 a foot. The project was funded by several organizations and through grant money obtained by Terrebonne Parish.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Biomimicry & Treatment Wetlands

Biomimicry or biomimetics is the examination of nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems. The termbiomimicry and biomimetics come from the Greek words bios, meaning life, and mimesi, meaning to imitate. Other terms often used are bionics, bio-inspiration, and biognosis. (source wikipedia)
Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a new discipline that studies nature's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. Studying a leaf to invent a better solar cell is an example. I think of it as "innovation inspired by nature." (source

Treatment wetlands play a great role in the biomimicry improvement. It is anture that treat and clean up wastewaters  and the final aspect of TWs are really good. Here below some images of floating treatment wetland systems 

(image of floating island international)

(images of tech-ia system)

Monday, August 29, 2011

the fastest TW planting

Hi here the fastest treatment wetland planting that you have never seen. 1 minutes and 53 seconds for 200  square meters with 1200 plants of Canna indica and Iris pseudacorus. See and laugh... that's me and Dr. Matteo Tamburini last June 2011.

and this below is a picture of today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

WWF PANDA and treatment wetlands in CHINA!!!

WWF’s Constructed Courtyard Wetland project is just one part of a comprehensive water resources protection and demonstration programme that began in 2008. Other projects include the restoration of the natural ecology of rivers, as well as the promotion of rural biogas and environmentally friendly cultivation. Based on the success of the Constructed Courtyard Wetland project, WWF is planning to expand operations in Yuantian and other villages.

The project demonstrates WWF-China’s approach to conservation, that is, one that balances the social, economic and ecological needs of the Upper Yangtze region. With 9 million rural residents out of a total population of 1.4 billion, rural living will continue to be a core way of life in China's future. Creating models that demonstrate sustainability and create cleaner water will not only further support biodiversity conservation, but also greatly benefit human health.
The location of this pilot project is significant. The Yangtze river basin is one of WWF’s global priority places. Here, the Minshan Mountains play a vital role not only as one of the last strongholds of several endangered species including the giant panda, but also in watershed protection for the mighty Yangtze River, regulating the flow of fresh water for more than 400 million people downstream.

More info at this source:

Great deal for Modular Wetland System inc.!

San Diego, CA - The Modular Wetland System (MWS) - Linear Stormwater Biofiltration System has been approved for Basic (CULD) and Enhanced (PULD) Treatment.  These designations allow for use of the Modular Wetland to be installed and operated in the State of Washington. This system has been verified and approved for removal of TSS and dissolved metals at a loading rate of 1 gpm/sq ft (100 in/hr).

Washington State DOE Findings of Fact:
  • Capability to remove 99% of TSS
  • Capability to remove 93% of dissolved Copper
  • Capability to remove 80.5% of dissolved Zinc   
This was accomplished through the Technology Assessment Protocol - Ecology (TAPE) certification process for emerging stormwater treatment technologies.  By holding a TAPE Certification, Modular Wetlands, has met applicable design criteria and performance goals for new development and redevelopment within the State of Washington. Modular Wetlands is the only biofilter to utilize horizontal flow to treat various pollutants. 

Another TWs in Brasil

I receive this article from Tamara Horn a Brasilian Biologist that work in treatment wetland solution in Brasil.
This plant is made for 80 apartaments for a total of 10 mc of wastewater and is made in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fifth International Conference on Vetiver (ICV-5) - "Vetiver and Climate Change"

This important international conference which will be held at the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow, India, between 28-30 October 2011.
The vetiver grass model promises a natural solution to mitigate the effects of climate change. Leading practitioners, experts, and policy makers associated with Vetiver System applications from all over the world will participate in the conference. This will provide an excellent opportunity for scientists, growers, entrepreneurs, industrialists and environmentalists to interact and share experience on prospects, potential, and opportunities of VS applications.

The conference topics deal on climate change, innovation and research and also Infrastructure and Pollution control with the following topics:
•  Rehabilitation of contaminated water and land
•  Protection of manmade infrastructure including roads, railroads, building sites, bridges, and other public utilities

Vetiver plant is worldwide use for wastewater treatment and a lot of research and applications established that this plant could be use for a lot of treatment water solution like treatment wetlands.

 The Vetiver grass will tolerate high levels of nitrates, phosphates, heavy metals, and agricultural chemicals.  The Vetiver System can be used for treating wastewater, rehabilitating mine tailings, stabilizing landfills and general rubbish dumps. The Vetiver System takes up the toxic materials and confines the contaminates to the effected area (

Here the link to the complete list of vetiver and treatment water documents, reports and research:


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Interesting news from South of Italy

NEWS # 1
Sellia Marina (Calabria - Italy), citizens petition to the mayor for adopting the tretment wetland system.

Brief translation:
that the Mayor of Sellia Marina (CZ) and the Councillor with responsibility forenvironment  intervene promptly, before the next summer and to introduce, among topics of the agenda an upcoming City Council, the discussion of this petition by adopting the necessary measures to give mandate to the office provide technical, downstream of the existing water treatment plants, constructed wetlands systems suitable to reduce the load of pollutants during the summer, the traditional treatment system  can not be disposed of properly.

NEWS #2 - Area 167: plants between the houses and treated water

Brief translation:
One of the speeches were the redevelopment of 167 of Alliste. This suburb has experienced a situation of complete degradation that made it unbearablea septic tank was not working in the service of 12 apartmentsnot to mention theopen sewerclearly visiblesituated between two apartment buildingsNow all this is just a bad memory: the sewers were connected to a wetland plant that is a natural system of treatment much more effective than chemical and mechanical.We must move to Berlin to have more examplesand in Puglia is the first plantconstructed wetlands used in an urban context.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

wetland of Sidvell school

here another special and fantastic project coupling treatment wetland and stormwater cleaning named "THE WETLAND MACHINE OF SIDWELL". By the site a complete report about this project. Read the following words and watch the photos: 

"Typically, wastewater is drained away via a complex network of tunnels that requires vast financial resources just for its maintenance, an infrastructure that's undoubtedly deteriorating just as fast as tax revenues get siphoned off away from public works budgets to General Motors and Bank of America. Miles and miles away from its point of origin, the water then gets treated in an energy intensive process. But it still isn't entirely clean afterwards. Thus, when discharged, it still poses a risk to bodies of water, contributing in many instances to elevated bacterial count and eutrophication."[cview]=linear#comments

small modular wetland

here below the photos of yesterday morning about the last installation of an ArtecAmbiente FAV (small modular wetland). This system is build for 6 persons in North of Italy and resume the vertical treatment wetland functioning and the classical trickling filter in a real small treatment system. (note: the plants of carex, juncus, vetiver and caltha will be transplanted asap next days). It works very well.

Monday, June 20, 2011

VIDEO: treatment wetland planting

Here a funny real video that show a TW planting with iris pseudacorus and canna indica made by me and Dr. Matteo Tamburini (ETRA spa consultant) in North of Italy. It is an horizontal flow as tertiary treatment after activated sludges treatment plants for more than 7000 p.e. .

See and smile!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

new page on this blog

Hi, click on the label above to see "my friends projects". Works, thesis and more rise from contacts starts on by TWs blog.

Friday, April 8, 2011

EPA publications list

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also works on wetland systems. This link drive you to the EPA wetlands programs where you can find a lot of information on the  "wetland's world", from natural to treatment weltand, from why they are valuable to how EPA protect them..

Here below the links to the complete publications list


a) the useful Manual of CW treatment of municipal wastewaters:
b) and the link to the North American Database (NADBVersion2):

2) another link to publications:
This list include general information as " HANDBOOK OF CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS FOR AGRICULTURE, DOMESTIC, COAL MINES ETC" and other following useful texts.

Monday, April 4, 2011

your TWs into the home. Yes it is possible!

Here another good reading about TWs, taken from and writen by Jessica Dailey.

"When you think of a wastewater treatment plant, you probable picture a vast, unsightly pool surrounded by a concrete facility. You probably do not picture a serene wetland in the lobby of an office building, but that’s exactly how sewage will be treated in the new building of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Design by Worrell Water Technologies, the constructed wetland, called Living Machine, will clean the building’s wastewater to make it suitable for reused in toilets, irrigation, and maintenance.
A Living Machine ( and system mimics a tidal wetland, one of nature’s most productive ecosystems.

The constructed wetland is just one of many green technologies that the San Franscisco Public Utilities Commission will be implementing in its new 13-story building. The structure will also generate its own energy through solar panels and wind turbines."

I can add that also wastewatergardens ( build functionally and beautiful TWS in Indonesia and this is not a design.. this is real. FANTASTIC!

(Ph. F. Cattin

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

GlobalNet21 - a network for the 21st Century

ALso GlobalNet21 write about treatment wetlands with the artlcle by  Pamela on Monday, 10 May 2010 titled "Constructed wetlands: Potential and Benefits". See the full text at

GlobalNet21 started as 21st Century Network in April 2007 to discuss some of the great issues of the 21st century and then follow this up with further debate and action. It is about enlarging the Public Square where debate takes place using social networks to bring new audiences of people into that debate.
GlobalNet21 believes that the coming century will be one of the most critical facing the human race and that if we do not tackle the great inequalities within societies and between them then the future will be one of conflict and turmoil. GlobalNet21 embraces the humanistic values of global compassion, personal self-discovery, shared development, planetary concern and a love of community; and it is committed to a more equal society where all are valued.

thanks to:

YES, thanks to the following for their citation and friendship:

a) Kunihiko Kato, my japanese collegue and friends:
His new web site is also in english. He works on Reed NET Co, Ltd
He build and make research on treatment wetlands for animal and agroindustry wastewaters. His wetlands are really good and treat a lot!

b) rainbow water coalition: a beautiful, complete and really interesting blog with a lot of news on greywater. The Rainbow Water Coalition received an honorable mention as one of the top 30 water blogs. See all the winners at
Take a look to the interesting "Colors of water"
The full post  (

c)  landscape architecture: Thanks for put into this web a link to the post of the modular system for stormwater treatment.

Monday, March 7, 2011

what about on google search?

Here below an easy table about  the results of google search with the terms of "wetland world".

[Ferrari have 193.000.000 pages, Paris Hilton 64.100.000 pages, Cannondale bikes 8.700.000 pages, Activated sludges 2.640.000 pages, Solar panel 6.970.000 pages]

results for " special offer" on wetland design

Ok, the two trial months are gone. Thanks a lot to everyones that contact me for questions (a lot of people for fast questions) and project design (Joe from US, Magdalena from Poland, Tamara from Brasil).

Monday, January 10, 2011

special offers for January and February 2011

We live in the 2.0 world, we are in the cloud computing system, in US there is a test with 60000 laptops without hard disk... well I run this time and for this first two months of 2011 I offer a free of charge first step design.

CONTACT ME I will tell you which could be the best treatment wetland systems for your needs, I'll tell you the surface need, the management needs and more.

After this first stage we can build up together an executive project, the engeneering aspect  and search funds (if available) or still be friends!!

                                                 greetings and all the best

Saturday, January 8, 2011

treatment wetlands and winery wastewaters

Wastewater of wineries are usually stored some months in tanks or ponds and periodically disposed on the farm’s fields or in the vineyards. This application has a dubious agronomic benefit, because great water amounts with low nutrient concentration (in terms of nitrogen and phosphorus which will be uptake by the crops) are spread. This practice is also typical for the wineries and wrongly considered as the only solution to the wastewaters management. 

The winery wastewater production is not regular during the year, and the production range from the end of the Summer to the end of Winter. During this period the application of wastewater to the fields is usually forbidden by the State regulations and by the European best management practices. It is hence necessary build up big tanks or accumulation basins to collect all the effluents produced and spread them in spring time.
Because of these the farmers must build up big tanks or accumulation basin to collect all the effluents product and spread it in Spring time.

To improve the winery management during the harvest and postharvest time, a possibility is to treat the effluents with the constructed wetlands.

Treatment wetland for winery wastewater in central Italy (one month after planting)

The winery produces two kind of wastewaters: waters from the washing of floors and open areas, and waters from the washing of machinery, bottles and storage tanks. Shepherd  (2001) refer a production of 3 litres of wastewaters for each litre of vine product. These waters are characterized by low pH value (5-6), high COD and BOD5 content (respectively 1000-45000 mg L-1 and 300-4000 mg L-1). The main organic loads are in the first time water flow. With these range inlet and flows values the CW has great potential in the treatment of this kind of polluted water. Masi (2000) and Shepherd (2001) reports large successful application of CW to treat the winery effluents, respectively in Italy and California.

Friday, January 7, 2011

more than 6750 pages view...

Thanks a lot for your interest on treatment wetlands... more than 8400 pages viewed until today  from more than 100 Countries. Is a great target for me! thank you so much, Davide

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Vetiver: sewage and wastewater treatment in Banda Aceh

Another good example about reconstruction after natural disaster. A project in Indonesia had set up a real sanitation construction after tsunami. Great...good work!

A summary from "Assessment of Sanitation Standards in Reconstruction in Aceh"  by Norm van’t Hof  - :

Reconstruction in Aceh provides an opportunity; to Assess the International Aid & Development Community’s capacity to deliver Sustainable Sanitation in the Developing World.
• In the majority of reconstruction projects, sanitation systems, which comply with Indonesian Law or effectively protect public and environmental health, were not installed. 
• Assessment results indicate that, in most cases, International Aid & Development Organizations & Agencies were not able to implement legal/sustainable sanitation systems. This illuminates a skills-gap in a core technical sector of International Aid and Development.
• A few reconstruction projects did successfully implement sustainable/legal sanitation systems.

Vetiver grass is being widely used in wetlands and leach fields in Aceh for two main reasons.  

a) Firstly, although wetland plants, reeds, rushes and cattails, are usually recommended, Acehnese living in wetland environments view these plants as invasive weeds and as such they are not acceptable in household gardens.  
b) Secondly, vetiver has the desired characteristics needed in biological treatment systems. It has a massive root system, which effectively harvests nutrients, it produces biomass quickly and it can live in high moisture and nutrient rich environments.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

VETIVER plant and wastewater treatment

Vetiveria zizanioides. This plant, commonly known as vetiver grass, is a clump grass originating in south India. There are many cultivars of vetiver grass but those originating in south India are sterile and non invasive. 
This plant have a long and strong root system that is usually use for soil erosion control, slope protection, agriculture improvement and also wastewater treatment.
The Vetiver grass will tolerate high levels of nitrates, phosphates, heavy metals, and agricultural chemicals.  Can be used for treating wastewater, rehabilitating mine tailings, stabilizing landfills and general rubbish dumps. The plants takes up the toxic materials and confines the contaminates to the effected area.

Here below some photos about applications for water treatment:

(photo: Truong, THE VETIVER SYSTEM

I also use vetiver in a research for aquaculture wastewater treatment with floating wetlands.
And the Dick Grimshaw (Founder and Chairman of The Vetiver Network International) send me, when I was an university student, a lot of books and paper related to vetiver plants and his use. It was 1995.

More dwnld books and publications, photos and articles could be found at

More on applications and all about THE VETIVER SYSTEM at