Constructed wetlands design manual

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

It aims to help the land development industry and professionals who design, build and establish constructed wetlands, and has been prepared based on valuable customer feedback. For more information, browse our frequently asked questions:

Download the manual

The manual has been structured as a series of parts and associated products for flexibility of use within the land development industry.

Part A

Part A contains:

  • A1: Manual overview, vision and outcomes (core and aspirational)
  • A2: Design criteria required to receive ‘deemed to comply’ acceptance, and how the criteria align with the design intent and core outcomes
  • A3: Key design considerations and minimum standards when considering an appropriate wetland design, versus an alternative design approach

Part B

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

Part C

Resources for designing, constructing and establishing constructed wetlands.

Part D

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, providing a detailed overview of the physical features available to wetland designers and the drivers of typical wetland design and treatment:

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. It 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 lake can be demonstrated to be sustainable, including clear and agreed maintenance and management responsibilities, we will not object to its construction.

Further information

Detailed technical information about wetlands design and construction:

Constructed Wetlands, Chapter 9, WSUD Engineering Procedures: Stormwater (available from CSIRO Publishing)


Contact us with any comments or queries:

 131 722

 Contact us online

Last updated: