This week-long workshop will be an immersion in constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. Students will be introduced to the basic principles of domestic wastewater treatment with natural systems and explore the major design considerations including treatment requirements, process flow diagrams, and process selection. We will cover system analysis, site investigation, permitting, treatment options, design basics and material selection. The course will also cover design history and current design theory. We will spend a day visiting constructed wetlands in the area. Students are encouraged to bring specific projects to work through design considerations.  After completing the course, students will be able to design and build a small constructed wetland for wastewater treatment.

Course start time: Sunday, 5pm
Course end time: Friday, 5pm


  • Competency Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • AIA credits: 35 HSW Learning Units

Materials to bring

  • Something to take notes: clipboard with paper or notebook
  • Your favorite calculator (we will have some extras)
  • Comfortable clothes / shoes: we will be sitting some, working outside a least a few days, and traveling
  • around visiting sites... so comfortable clothes that you don't mind getting a little dirty.
  • Any information on wastewater projects that you are working on or may be working on in the future
  • o Site information: maps, survey, soils information, climate data, etc.
  • Your imagination and creativity: balance the three engin-nerds teaching this class.

Course Outline

5:00pm - Orientation and Tour of the Yestermorrow facilities
6:00pm - Dinner at Yestermorrow (for all, even folks not on meal plan)
7:00pm - Introductions and Interests
• Review schedule of the week
• History of onsite wastewater and constructed wetland slide show
8:00pm - Break for the evening

9:00am - Wastewater 101 - What is onsite wastewater treatment?
10:30am - Yestermorrow Wastewater Tour
1:00pm - Wastewater 101 - Part II: What is that stuff? Where does it come from... where does it go?
2:00pm - Wastewater Challenges: Part I - Site Constraints
4:00pm - Wastewater Challenges: Part II - Regulator Issues
5:00pm - Break for the evening

9:00am Review of Day -
9:30am Components and materials of constructed wetlands
1:00pm Intense review of Yestermorrow constructed wetlands
4:00pm Introduce wetland design process.
5:00pm Break for the evening.

9:00am Review of Day -
9:30am Leave Yestermorrow: Set off on our Field Trip
10:30am Arrive at Living Future (in Huntington) - Constructed Wetland Tour
1:00pm Leave Living Future (in Huntington)
2:00pm Arrive at Ten Stones Community (in Shelburne)
2:30pm Leave Ten Stones Community (in Shelburne)
3:00pm Arrive at UVM Constructed Wetlands Research Center (in Burlington)
4:00pm Leave UVM Constructed Wetlands Research Center
5:00pm Back at Yestermorrow...break for the evening

9:00am Any questions from the previous day?
9:30am Design Process - Site evaluation.
10:30am Design Process - Wetland sizing
1:00pm Project Review - Yestermorrow and/or personal projects
2:00pm Individual and group design time
4:30pm Review of questions
5:00pm Break for the evening

9:00am Any questions from the previous day?
9:30am Plant discussion and hunt and/or slide show.
10:30am Replant/fill the Yestermorrow constructed wetland
1:00pm Individual and group design time
2:30pm Project presentations
3:30pm Class summary and course evaluation
4:30pm End of class!

Suggested Reading

EPA Design Manual - Constructed Wetlands and Aquatic PLant Systems for Municipal Wastewater Treatment.  Online at

Crites, R.W. and G. Tchobanoglous (19980.  Small and Decentralized Wastewater Management Systems.  WCB McGraw-Hill.  Boston

Your current state regulations:

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