THE REED-BED ENVIRONMENT
Reed-beds, constructed wetlands and ponds are natural ecological systems that are harnessed in engineered forms to breakdown the organic matter in sewage and a wide range of wastewaters. Correctly sized they are highly effective, will tolerate wide ranges in loading rates, do not smell and can be an attractive feature in the garden or wider landscape.
Our vertical flow reed-beds are planted with the Common River or Norfolk Thatching Reed, Phragmites australis. Our horizontal flow beds are also planted with this reed but may also be planted with a range of marginal marsh plants to create a more diverse and biologically attractive ecology. Different plants condition the water in different ways. In time all beds are invaded by a range of worms, insects, lower invertebrates and a host of different bacteria supported by the food value of the organic matter in the influents – the incoming wastewaters. Groups of different bacteria have different functions in nitrification and then denitrification of the wastewater.
Wildlife finds our reed-bed systems attractive. The larger the better. Even small systems will attract a wide range of insects and birds are regular visitors. In the larger systems reed-buntings are often seen and those with ponds moorhens, mallards and Canada Geese have been observed with their broods in the Spring.
With ongoing maintenance, which is not onerous, our vertical flow reed-bed systems are provided with a 3-year fit-for-purpose warranty and are expected to have a life time value in excess of 25 years.