Design and assessment of stream–wetland systems for nutrient removal in an urban watershed of China

  • Li Han
  • Timothy O. RandhirEmail author
  • Minsheng HuangEmail author


Constructed wetlands are typical best management practices (BMPs) often used to reduce nutrient loads in streams. Evaluating the effectiveness of wetland design on nutrient removal is essential to assist watershed managers in optimal design of BMP dimensions and placement. In this study, we assess performance of two constructed wetland systems (comprising of nine wetlands) installed in downstream of Longhongjian Stream in Hangzhou City, China. These wetland systems are monitored and evaluated for their effects on nutrient removal, particularly TN, NO3-N, TP, and PO4-P. Based on wetland input–output metrics, removal efficiency (RE) is used to quantify wetland system. Results show that both wetland systems effectively removed nutrients, with RE as high as 45% of TN, 57% of NO3-N, 78% of TP, and 86% of PO4-P. In general, nutrient removal efficiency is seasonally dependent, with better removal efficiency occurring during warmer seasons than others. Macrophyte uptake is a primary removal process in these wetlands. We observe that more wetlands working concurrently can provide a greater level of control on nutrients in lotic environments. Wetland design parameters play an important role in removal of nutrients in streams. Increasing flow volume and surface area of wetland, designing curvilinear shoreline, and longer flow paths can be used as design criteria for wetland systems aimed at nutrient removal.


Constructed wetland Nutrient pollution Removal efficiency Nitrogen Phosphorus Wetland design 



This study was supported by the Major National Science and Technology Project of Ministry of Science and Technology of China (grant no. 2013ZX07310-001) and the Innovative Research Project for High-Level Researchers of Putuo District, Shanghai, China (grant no. 2014-A-18). We thank Minghai Ma, Yueya Chang, He Cui, Le Yang, Tinhui Zhang, Qi Chen, and Wen Zhang for assistance in sampling and analysis. Thanks to Weida Landscape Co., Ltd. for the assistance in sampling and investigation.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Ecological and Environmental ScienceEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Environmental ConservationUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA

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