Constructed wetlands design manual

The Design, construction and establishment of constructed wetlands: design manual is intended to help the land development industry and professionals who design, construct and establish constructed wetlands.

The manual outlines our requirements for best practice constructed wetland design. It will support consistent delivery of high quality constructed wetlands across the Port Phillip and Westernport region.

The final draft has been prepared based on valuable customer feedback and comments.

Overview of design manual

A1: Vision, core outcomes and aspirational outcomes

Design criteria required to receive ‘deemed to comply’ acceptance, how the criteria aligns with the design intent and core outcomes.

Key design considerations and minimum standards when considering an appropriate wetland design versus an alternative design approach.

Concept, functional and detailed design stages and associated requirements of our constructed wetland design acceptance process.

Resources for designing, constructing and establishing constructed wetlands.

Analytical design tools, information sources and our resources that can be used to develop a best practice constructed wetland design.

Supporting documents

  • Constructed wetlands form and function describes the fundamentals of constructed wetlands. A detailed overview of the physical features available to wetland designers and the drivers of typical wetland design and treatment are provided.

  • Planning, funding and management outlines the planning, funding and management arrangements for constructed wetlands as supported by relevant legislation, policy, strategy and guidelines.

  • Wetland analysis tool is used to check plant heights and inundation depths and can be accessed by registering and logging in to the MUSIC Auditor website.

Urban lakes

Constructed lakes refer to a constructed water body that has a large amount of open water for the purposes of improving amenity or providing recreation. Constructed lakes are not as effective as a wetland in treating water quality, and at times they may suffer from poor water quality and algal blooms.

We don’t plan or construct water bodies designed primarily for amenity purposes. However, constructed lake systems are part of Melbourne's drainage system and must be designed to minimise the impact on the downstream environment.

Where a shallow lakes can be demonstrated to be sustainable, including clear and agreed maintenance and management responsibilities, we will not object to their construction. 

Further information 

Detailed technical information about wetlands design and construction: 

Your feedback

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Last updated:
14 December 2017