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Floating wetland treatment systems in residential development: assessing the benefits for residents, local authorities, and developers



Parklakes 2 is a new residential estate on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Runoff from the development was originally planned to be treated by a 2.6 ha constructed wetland. The estimated costs associated with the constructed wetland were significant. In addition, any potential water quality improvements would not be realised until approximately 60% of the estate was completed. As an alternative solution, Covey Associates, in collaboration with the University of the Sunshine Coast and the local Council, developed a novel approach where the constructed wetland would be replaced by a lake with a 2,100 m 2 floating wetland treatment system (FWTS). A construction cost comparison of the two treatment approaches was conducted and it was found that the FWTS approach yielded savings of almost $1 million compared to the constructed wetland. In addition to the cost savings, the FWTS will be operational by the first stage of the development, which provides greater water quality benefits, as well as higher amenity for residents. Increased open water areas are known to translate to higher property values and social benefits for the whole development which could potentially lead to further increased sales and property values. The development is also the subject of an ongoing stormwater quality evaluation study.

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