Microbial pollution in surface waters is a concern throughout the world, with both public health and economic implications. One contributing source to such pollution is stormwater runoff, often treated using various types of stormwater control measures. However, relatively little is known regarding microbe sequestration in constructed stormwater wetlands (CSWs), one type of commonly installed stormwater control measure. In this study, indicator bacteria concentrations in both the water and sediment of a CSW were evaluated at multiple locations. Results suggested that fecal coliform concentrations in stormwater runoff decrease through the system, with relatively consistent concentrations noted throughout the second half of the wetland. This potentially indicates a baseline concentration of fecal coliform is present due to internal processes such as animal activity and microbial persistence. However, wetland sediments showed little E. coli present during most sampling events, with minimal patterns existing with respect to sediment sampling location. CSW designs should promote optimization of hydraulic retention time and minimization of stormwater velocities to promote sedimentation and degradation of microbes by way of wetland treatment functions.
- fecal coliform
- © IWA Publishing 2011