Wetlands and Reed Beds

Treating effluent with reed bed systems; natural wetlands and ponds.

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Ponds, Wetlands and Reed Beds
If you have the space, reed beds and ponds allow treatment of sewage and a wide range of polluting wastewater effluents and recycle water for re-use, as well as creating natural, wildlife and ornamental water features.
A good starting point is the fact sheet from CAT on establishing reed bed systems.
Apart from the recycling of water, you might also like to consider the establishment of low maintenance natural swimming ponds and pools -Clear Water Revival give some evocative images of the possibilities here.
  • ARM Reedbeds -Staffordshire based company specialising in development and application of wastewater treatment systems using reed beds and wetland technology.
  • Centre for Alternative Technolgy -factsheet on constructed wetlands and reed beds.
  • Clear Water Revival -ecological engineers specialising in natural swimming pools, reed beds and habitat creation.
  • Cress Water -specialises in the design and installation of reed-beds, ponds and wetlands in a variety of combinations for the treatment of sewage and the creation of wildlife and ornamental water features.
  • Constructed Wetland Association -good source of information on constructed wetlands and reed beds plus links to approved designers and constructors.
  • Elemental Solutions -Nick Grant's company is in the forefront of ecological wasterwater treatment solutions and provides some interesting case studies.
  • JPR Environmental -landscaping company specialising in environmental works, including erosion control on riverbanks using bio-engineering; growing and selling live willow; wildlife protection and mitigation works on development sites; reedbed planting and design.
  • Ecodesignscape -natural swimming pools and environmental design by Michael Littlewood. Michael has written books on the subject and the site has a useful downloadable leaflet.
  • Organic Gardening -useful factsheet on how reed beds work.
  • Soil Association -guide and briefing paper on setting up and maiintaining reed bed systems.
  • Yorkshire Ecological Solutions -lots of information on reed bed systems, albeit within a rather scrappy website.


  • See also Grey Water for information about dealing with collecting run off from buildings.

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Featured books:

Rain Gardens: Sustainable Rainwater Management for the Garden and Designed Landscape by Nigel Dunnett and Andy Clayden
Timber Press (April 2007)
Price in UK pounds
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The Wildlife Pond Handbook: A Practical Guide to Creating and Maintaining Your Own Wetland for Wildlife by Charlie Dimmock, Louise Bardsley, and The Wildlife Trusts
New Holland Publishers Ltd
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more Books on Decking, Patios and Furniture.