Environmental monitoring of agricultural constructed wetlands - A provincial study
A province-wide research project is being conducted to determine the practicality and treatment effectiveness of constructed wetlands for the treatment of barnyard runoff under Ontario's soil and climatic conditions. A total of 12 experimental wetland systems and two experimental grassed strips are being installed and monitored across southern Ontario. Designs incorporate a variety of component including runoff holding ponds, vegetated marsh treatment cells, and water quality polishing cells. Each individual design aspect is repeated at a number of sites to allow for comparison. A base line assessment of all sites includes: monitoring bacterial and chemical parameters in groundwater, surface water, and bottom sediments
continuous monitoring of surface water levels, relative humidity, water temperature, air temperature, and rainfall. Additional research is being conducted at selected sites including monitoring vegetation, macroinvertebrates, and wildlife. These experimental systems will allow for an assessment of treatment effectiveness, management requirements, and economic benefits for Ontario farms. The results of this research will further the development of low-cost alternatives for the farm community to protect water quality.