Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Ecosystem Service Logic Model

Wastewater Management – Treatment Wetlands

Geographic Context
Project Type
Wastewater Management – Treatment Wetlands

Treatment wetlands for wastewater treatment are engineered systems designed to replicate the structure and the services often provided by wetlands in order to perform tertiary wastewater treatment, particularly phosphorus and waterborne pathogen removal, and nitrogen transformation and removal through a variety of physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms. Treatment wetlands (sometimes known as constructed wetlands) are often used to support traditional municipal and industrial wastewater treatment but can also be used for stormwater, aquaculture, and mine drainage. There are two types of treatment wetlands: free water surface (FWS) wetlands and subsurface flow (SSF) wetlands. FWS wetlands generally look like marshes and consist of multiple species of rooted emergent vegetation and standing water. FWS systems that utilize only submerged or floating vegetation are comparatively less common. Subsurface Flow Systems (SSF), on the other hand, maintain water flow below the surface.

Outcomes & Metrics

Outcomes for project types may be strongly or weakly linked, or if not labeled as such, not designated. Resilience-linked outcomes are marked with "R."

See all GEMS metrics, including full descriptions. Click on any metric below to jump directly to its details.

Strongly-linked outcomes:

Weakly-linked outcomes:


Project Metrics

Program Metrics


Economic Activity - Local Business (R)


Human Health - Mental Health & Psychological Well-Being (R)


Human Health - Mosquito-Borne Illness (R)


Human Health - Waterborne Disease (R)


Social Cost of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (R)


Social Disruption - Due to Project or Flooding (R)