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Constructed Wetlands for Water Purification

COURSE NO: C08-023
COURSE PROVIDER: Donald Parnell, P.E.
Constructed Wetlands for Water Purification
Course Highlights

This online engineering course discusses the use of constructed wetlands for the purification of wastewater effluent, with emphasis on the treatment of agricultural and livestock effluent.


The constructed wetland is a shallow, earthen impoundment or group of cellular impoundments, which contain hydrophytic vegetation, designed to treat both point and nonpoint sources of water pollution.  Its primary physical components include the aquatic vegetation, substrate for plant and microbial growth, the basin or cells, associated structural devices for water management, and the water that flows through the system.


In wetland ecosystems, there are biological, chemical, and physical processes that naturally clean and filter water. The waste treatment mechanisms it employs are a complex mix of physical, chemical, and biological processes. Manmade constructed wetlands are designed to mimic the processes found in a natural wetland ecosystem. They use wetland plants, soils, and microorganisms to clean water in a way that is often less expensive than more traditional water treatment systems. When properly designed, built, and operated, a constructed wetland can provide high quality water treatment, while also adding aesthetical enhancement and wildlife habitat to your site.


This 8 PDH online course is intended for environmental, civil, water resources, hydraulic, land development, and other technical personnel interested in gaining a better understanding in the use of constructed wetlands for the purposes of water purification.
Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Learning about the purpose, benefits, and types of constructed wetlands
  • Familiarizing with the nutrient reduction process
  • Understanding the floating aquatic plant systems
  • Familiarizing with the protection of surface and groundwater sources
  • Learning about treatment processes and biochemical conversions
  • Understanding volatilization of ammonia, soil interaction, and nutrient uptake
  • Knowing how to plan for a constructed wetland
  • Familiarizing with pretreatment and wastewater characterization
  • Learning about soils and effluent storage, topography and land area, flood plains and water sources, as well as hydrologic and climatologic data
  • Understanding the impact of toxic substances on wildlife
  • Knowing how to design for phosphorus removal
  • Familiarizing with wetland configurations and layouts
  • Learning about embankments, liners, inlet and outlet structures
  • Learning about the operation, maintenance, and water budget
  • Familiarizing with emergent herbaceous plants, and aquatic and wetland plant types
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the course document titled, "Constructed Wetlands for Water Purification" by Donald Parnell, PE.

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Constructed Wetlands for Water Purification (3.0 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of forty (40) questions to earn 8 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: