A constructed wetland refers to a purposeful planting of certain vegetation that grows best in very moist or wet soil. This type of wetland can be planned for a publicly owned property, but you might also consider a constructed wetland for your own property. A constructed wetland can be as small as any other landscaping feature on your property and can offer many benefits to your property's soil. Note a few factors about constructed wetlands and how they can protect your property, and how to plan one.
1. Why they're constructed
Overly moist soil may contain contaminants that are very dangerous to the soil and to your family. If the soil is moist because of a leak in a septic tank, because of poorly designed sewage systems that often suffer from runoffs, or because of industrial runoff, this means not just moisture but pollution in the soil.
The vegetation planted in constructed wetlands can absorb many of these contaminants from the soil and help to filter and clean it. They can also absorb the excess moisture so that your property doesn't suffer from soil runoff and then soil erosion.
2. How they're constructed
A constructed wetland involves more than just planting certain vegetation that grows well in moist soil. There is usually a layer of gravel that is placed on the soil so that the roots of the vegetation can easily take hold and become stronger without the delicate plants being washed away. The plants themselves are also chosen carefully; these need to be plants that grow well in moist soil but which can also absorb the waste that is found in the soil. These often include water hyacinths and varieties of pontederia plants.
3. Planning one for home
For a successful constructed wetland at home, you want to plant it where the water will flow over the plant's roots, so the bottom of how your property is graded or sloped. When selecting gravel, you want to ensure you choose a type that is small enough to allow water to flow easily and therefore be absorbed by the plants. Sand and silt are often mixed with the gravel to ensure the pieces are small enough to support the wetland itself.
Choose plants that are supported by natural wetland. Cattails are often chosen because they are strong and hearty and grow tall enough so that they absorb the most moisture and contaminants. Common reed is also a favorite choice and can help to filter many contaminants found in grey water or sewage runoff.