Metals Removal by Constructed Wetlands

EPA Grant Number: R828770C005
Subproject: this is subproject number 005 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R828770
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (2001) - Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center
Center Director: Banks, M. Katherine
Title: Metals Removal by Constructed Wetlands
Investigators: Fitch, Mark W. , Burken, Joel
Institution: Missouri University of Science and Technology
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2004
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Land and Waste Management


Lab-scale constructed wetlands have proven able to treat mine drainage, negating toxicity and removing metals from the site. There remains, however, a need to establish the wetlands' ability to remove metals in the long term, including knowledge of the fate of metals in the wetlands. More fundamentally, effective and proven design criteria do not exist for constructed wetlands for metals removal. The goal of this research is to evaluate the capacity for constructed wetlands to treat lead mine drainage, including determination of metal geochemistry in the wetland substrate, and to propose and validate design criteria for such wetlands. Lead mines are of significant interest in Missouri, the nation's leading lead producer. Not only does the state have issues with existing production; more than 100 square miles of the state are listed on the EPA National Priorities List due to historical lead mining. Lead mine drainage differs from acid mine drainage in pH (the effluent is neutral), but this allows it to act as an excellent case study for examining the fate of metals removed from wastewater by constructed wetlands and for the application of this technology to specific industrial effluents.


The research will focus both on lab-scale and two existing field-scale wetlands, one treating lead mine effluent and the other treating lead contaminated machining wastewater. Based on the rates of removal and wetland hydraulics, design equations will be proposed. These design equations will be validated by application at the lab scale and at the field scale, if possible.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 9 publications for this subprojectView all 108 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 2 journal articles for this subprojectView all 14 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

Lead mine drainage, constructed wetlands, metal geochemistry., RFA, Industry Sectors, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Water, Hydrology, Remediation, Wastewater, Mining - NAIC 21, Hazardous Waste, Engineering, Hazardous, 33/50, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, hazardous waste treatment, wastewater treatment, industrial wastewater, wastewater remediation, acid mine drainage, lead, lead & lead compounds, alternative technology, aqueous waste, constructed wetlands, effluents, heavy metal contamination, metals removal, metal wastes, mine drainage, heavy metals, metals, mining wastes, metal removal, aqueous waste stream

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R828770    HSRC (2001) - Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R828770C001 Technical Outreach Services for Communities
    R828770C002 Technical Outreach Services for Native American Communities
    R828770C003 Sustainable Remediation
    R828770C004 Incorporating Natural Attenuation Into Design and Management Strategies For Contaminated Sites
    R828770C005 Metals Removal by Constructed Wetlands
    R828770C006 Adaptation of Subsurface Microbial Biofilm Communities in Response to Chemical Stressors
    R828770C007 Dewatering, Remediation, and Evaluation of Dredged Sediments
    R828770C008 Interaction of Various Plant Species with Microbial PCB-Degraders in Contaminated Soils
    R828770C009 Microbial Indicators of Bioremediation Potential and Success