Given the positive claims made for Constructed Wetlands, in terms of their effluent characteristics and low direct operational costs, plus the widespread interest in them by the agricultural sector, a decision was taken in 2004 to establish an Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) at the Greenmount Campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in Co. Antrim, to provide a site to test the efficiency of the Constructed Wetlands system under controlled conditions.

Greenmount integrated constructed wetland (ICW)

The Greenmount ICW design followed specifications for constructed wetlands developed in the Republic of Ireland with respect to vegetation planting and size appropriate to treat the dirty water from the dairy unit at Greenmount campus.

The ICW consists of five ponds which were constructed in the summer of 2004 and planted in autumn of 2004. To allow the wetland plants to become established the wetland was not used to treat dirty water until November 2005. A report produced by Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in October 2009 summarises the surface and ground water quality monitoring data from the Greenmount campus wetland from November 2005 until February 2008. The report presents a preliminary assessment of the appropriateness of constructed wetlands for treating farmyard dirty water.

AFBI report on the performance, efficiency and sustainability of the CAFRE constructed wetland system

Knowledge and technology transfer open day focusing on constructed wetlands

A knowledge and technology transfer open day focusing on constructed wetlands was held on 15 September 2010 at Greenmount campus, CAFRE. The event was attended by farmers and growers and focused on how the technology could be adopted to treat dirty water on their farms.

Focused Visitors at Constructed Wetland Open Day

Treating farmyard dirty water using constructed wetlands

A technical note has been jointly produced by CAFRE and AFBI on 'Treating farmyard dirty water using constructed wetlands'.

The role of constructed wetlands in treating dirty water

Design manual for Scotland and Northern Ireland

A design manual on constructed farm wetlands has been produced jointly by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). The manual includes guidance on a wide range of issues from site suitability to farm wetland construction and planting.

Design Manual for Scotland and Northern Ireland (Scottish Environment Protection Agency Website)

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