Vegetated Filtration Systems/Biofilters
Vegetation plays a critical role in the management of urban stormwater, helping to filter out pollutants, maintaining the permeability of the filter, as well as contributing to nutrient removal both through direct uptake and through facilitation of microbial communities. Plants also help to restore the evapotranspiration that is diminished by urbanisation (through the loss of vegetation and the creation of impervious areas). They also provide both aesthetic and micro-climate benefits (providing shade and passive cooling).
This group of projects is focussed on developing a wide range of vegetated stormwater treatment systems, including biofiltration (often called bioretention systems or ‘rain-gardens’), swales, wetlands, and vegetated roofs and walls. They are mainly used to treat and/or infiltrate stormwater for the protection of stream health. Recently some of the systems have been adopted for stormwater harvesting.
Research being undertaken under these projects revolves around identifying the role of plants, selecting the optimal species for treatment performance, identifying the impacts of vegetated systems on micro-climates, as well as identifying their treatment performance for a range of pollutants (e.g. sediment, nutrients, heavy metals and pathogens).
For details of the research conducted in this area, see the links below:
- Monitoring Field Biofiltration Systems: Banyan Reserve and Clifton Hill Biofilters
- Piloting Biofiltration in Israel: the Kfar-Sava Biofilter
- The Stormwater Management Benefits of Vegetated Roofs
- Understanding the Role of Vegetation in Biofiltration Systems
- Modelling Faecal Microorganism Removal in Stormwater Biofilters (PhD – Gayani Chandrasena)
- Optimisation of Phosphorus Removal in Stormwater Biofiltration Systems (PhD – Bonnie Glaister)
- The Effect of Competition Between Plants on the Treatment Performance of Stormwater Biofiltration Systems (PhD – Jason Ellerton)
- Optimisation of Nitrogen Removal Capacity for ‘Best Practice’ Stormwater Biofiltration Systems (PhD – Yaron Zinger)
- Arsenic and metal removal using constructed wetlands (PhD – Katherine Lizama Allende)
- Micropollutants validation framework for natural treatment systems (PhD – Kefeng Zhang)
- Impact of Biofiltration Systems on Water, Mass and Energy Balances in Urban Areas (Masters – Alice Niculescu)
- Turning rain into food – the benefits and performance of vegetable raingardens
- Projects related to the Facility for Advancing Water Biofiltration (FAWB)
- Laboratory Testing of an Alternative Sand-Based Filter Media for Stormwater Biofilters
- Biofiltration Technologies for Stormwater Quality Treatment (PhD – Dr Godecke Blecken)
- Filtration Technologies for Stormwater Harvesting (PhD – Dr Belinda Hatt)
- Clogging and Heavy Metal Removal Efficiency of Stormwater Infiltration Systems for Stormwater Management (PhD – Dr Sebastien Le Coustumer)
- Modelling Sediment Behaviour in Constructed Stormwater Wetlands (PhD – Dr Yong Li)
For a full list of publications relating to this thematic research area, see the Publications section of the website.