Constructed Wetlands

Curt Kerns, president and scientific officer, worked on the predecessor of the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, the region’s premiere constructed wetland, and studied under its designer, Professor Robert A. Gearheart. In 1998 we began offering constructed wetland design and build services.

Constructed wetlands are based up biomimicry, using nature’s ways of removing a wide range of contaminants including pharmaceuticals, endocrine disrupting compounds, personal care products, and even persistent organic pollutants such as DDT.

Constructed wetlands may be used to treat wastewater originating from many different sources:

  • Domestic wastewater
  • Landfill leachate
  • Sludge/Septage
  • Mine drainage, even if acidic
  • Agricultural wastewaters (livestock and cropland runoff, milk parlor & mushroom wash water)
  • Storm water runoff including roofs, driveways, streets and highways

Our custom constructed wetland designs are determined by your specific objectives: flow rates, contaminants, available land area, location, ancillary and esthetic benefits considerations. We design, install, and manage four basic types of constructed wetlands:

  • The Vegetative Tertiary Filter, a capillary wetland, which is the most suitable application for single family residences and small multi-family units.
  • Free Water Surface Constructed Wetlands, horizontal flow free water surface wetlands, which are designed for larger multi-family units, commercial and industrial application with larger flows (3000 g-p/d).
  • Reed beds, vertical flow wetlands, which are primarily designed for municipal applications to treat septage and sludge.
  • Floating Constructed Wetlands, floating treatment wetlands, to reduce and manage nutrient levels resulting from residential, commercial, industrial, municipal and storm water runoff.


“The best green ideas are ones that save you money, right away, without any kind of government subsidy or legislation.”  - Daniel Lyons, Newsweek; October 25, 2010