First Advisor

Brian C. Turner

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science and University Honors


Environmental Science




Water -- Purification, Constructed wetlands, Aquatic plants -- Utilization, Nutrient pollution of water




Wetland numbers are declining worldwide and there is a need to replace the water filtration services they provide. One emerging option is floating treatment wetlands (FTW). FTW are a floating mat that serves as a habitat for aquatic plants whose roots are suspended in the water and that remove both organic and inorganic pollutants like nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), potentially toxic metals, and suspended solids. A literature search was performed to examine the efficacy of FTW pollutant removal. Specifically, I inspected 1) how effective FTW are at removing a range of nutrients; 2) what types of plants are most effective in FTWs; and 3) does FTW’s efficacy differ across water body types (eutrophic water, sewage and domestic water, stormwater runoffs, and industrial wastewaters). Given the potential of FTW, I expected that in all cases, there will be a reduction in all observed criteria. After all the research on FTW, it had a range of effect on nutrient removal efficacy. However, there was no noticeable plant species in a given water body type, except for the plants, Juncus and Pontederia, which were found in eutrophic water, sewage and domestic waters, and stormwater runoffs. Some things to consider for future research to explore were species specific impacts, seasonality and inoculates.


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