Constructed Wetlands Center for Research, Education, and Outreach at the University of Vermont
Investigators: Aleksandra Drizo, Don Ross and Tom Lewis

This project examines the use of constructed wetlands (CW) technology to treat barn yard runoff and milk house wash water at the UVM dairy farm. It is the first system built in the state of Vermont and it has been designed to enable research on the efficacy, feasibility and cost-effectiveness of using a subsurface flow (SSF) CW to purify farmstead effluent in a cold, northern climate.

During the first 2.5 years of operation, the CW showed high efficiency in dairy effluent treatment. The effluent coming from the four CW showed average reduction of 75% in organic matter, 90% in total suspended solids, 90-99% in E.coli, 80% in ammonium and 83% in dissolved reactive phosphorus.

In addition to monitoring the CW treatment performance, we have been investigating wetland hydraulic behavior during extreme cold conditions (former MS student Pete Munoz), ways to maintain and upgrade wetland Phosphorus removal efficiency (Graduate student Dave Weber), Nitrogen transformations and removal mechanisms (Graduate student Mathew Cunningham) and potential greenhouse gaseous emissions from the wetlands (Graduate student Eamon Twohig).

For more information on the Constructed Wetlands Project please contact Dr Aleksandra Drizo (adrizo@uvm.edu) and visit our webpage, see link below.

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