Published Oct 26, 2010

Google Scholar
Search GoogleScholar

Jaime Andrés Lara Borrero

Ismael Leonardo Vera-Puerto



The subsurface flow constructed wetlands are considered an economic technology to treat domestic wastewater. They represent an interesting potential of application to the Colombian conditions. This article presents the functioning of this particular type of wetlands, during its initial stages, based on the experience obtained from one designed for the “Estación Experimental Javeriana”, located in Cogua, Cundinamarca. The designed wetland treats used water from houses and school facilities. The article presents a comparison between the results obtained experimentally and those pre-established by diverse design models. It is found that the Model from Reed et al, shows the best adjustment to the experimental results. This information will be the basis to the adaptation of this technology for the specific Colombian conditions.


constructed wetlands, wastewater nutrients, agricultural irrigationhumedales artificiales, nutrientes del agua residual, riego agrícola

Arroyave, A. F. Remoción de Contaminantes de Aguas Residuales con Humedales Artificiales de Flujo Subsuperficial. Bogotá: Universidad de los Andes, 1997, 12 p.
Barret, E. et al. Microbial indicator removal in onsite constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment in the southern U.S. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 44(11-12), 2001, 177-182.
Brix, H. Treatment of wastewater in the rhizosphere of wetland plants-the root zone method. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 30(19), 1987, 107-118.
____________. How “Green” are Aquaculture, constructed Wetlands and Conventional Wastewater Treatment Systems?. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 40(3), 1999, 45-50.
Brix, H., Del Bubba, M. Media selection for sustainable phosphorus removal in subsurface for constructed wetlands. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 44 (11-12), 2001, 47-54.
Brix, H., Schierup, H.H. The use of aquatic macrophytes in waterpollution control. En: Ambio, 18, 1989, 100-107.
Colombia. Decreto 1594 de 1984.
Cooper, P. A review of the design and performance of vertical-flow and hybrid reed bed treatment systems. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 40(3), 1999, 1-9.
Dahab, M., Surampalli, R. Performance modeling of subsurface-flow constructed wetlands systems. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 44(11-12), 2001, 231-235.
____________, R. Subsurface-flow constructed wetlands treatment in the plains: five years of experience. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 44811-12), 2001, 375-380.
Economopoulou, M. A., Tsihrintzis, A., Vassilios, A. Design methodology and area sensitivity analysis of horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands. En: Water Resources Management, 17, 2003, 147-172.
García, J. Ruiz, A., Junqueras, X. Depuración de aguas residuales urbanas mediante humedales construidos. En: Tecnología del Agua, 165, junio de 1997, 58-65.
Gopal, B. Natural and constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment: potential and problems. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 40(3), 1999, 27-35.
Hammer, D.A. Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment. Boca Raton: Lewis, 1989.
Hill, B.H. Uptake and release of nutrients by aquatic macrophytes. En: Aquatic Botany, 7, 1979, 87-93.
Kadlec, R.H., Knight, R.L. Treatment Wetlands. Boca Raton: Lewis, 1996.
Kadlec, R.H. Chemical, physical and biological cycles in treatment wetlands. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 40(3), 1999, 37-44.
Kallner, S., Wittgren, H. Modeling nitrogen transformations in surface flow wastewater treatment wetlands in Sweden. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 44(11-12), 2001, 237-244.
Khatiwada, N. R., Polprasert, C. Kinetics of fecal coliform removal in constructed wetlands. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 40(3), 1999, 109-116.
____________. Assessment of effective specific surface area for free water surface constructed wetlands. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 40(3), 1999, 83-89.
Lara, J. A. Depuración de aguas residuales municipales con humedales artificiales. Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, Barcelona, 1999.
Leonard, K., Swanson, G. Comparison of operational design criteria for subsurface for constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 44(11-12), 2001, 301-307.
Martín, I., Fernández, J. Nutrient dynamics and growth of a cattail crop (Typha latifolia) developed in an effluent with high eutrophic potential-application to wastewater purification systems. En: Bioresource Technology, 42, 1992, 7-12.
Metcalf & Eddy Inc.. Ingeniería de aguas residuales: tratamiento, vertido y reutilización. Volumen 1 y 2. Tercera Edición. Madrid: McGraw-Hill, 1996.
Monje, L. E. Caso Colombiano. En: Actas del Seminario Internacional de tratamiento de aguas residuales a través de humedales naturales y artificiales y lagunas de estabilización. Bogotá: Corporación Autónoma Regional (CAR), 1999.
Natural Resources Conservation Service and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USDA). A Handbook of Constructed Wetlands.Washington, D.C., 1995.
Philippi, L., Da Costa, R., Serezino, P. Domestic efluent treatment through integrated system of septic tank and root zone. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 40(3), 1999, 125-131.
Platzer, C. Design recommendations for subsurface flor constructed wetlands for nitrification and denitrification. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 40(3), 1999, 257-263.
Radoux, M., Kemp, D. Approche ecologique et expérimentale des potentialités épuratrices de quelques hélophytes: Phragmites australis, Typha latifolia et Carex acuta. En: Trib. Cebedau., 35, 1982, 325-340.
Reed, S.C., Crites, R.W., Middlebrooks, E.J. Natural Systems for Waste Management and Treatment. Second Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1995.
Rousseau, D., Vanrolleghem, P., De Pauw, N. Model – based design of horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands: a review. En: Water Resources Management, 38, 2004, 1484-1493.
Rustige, I., Honer, G. Investigation on phosphorus retention in subsurface constructed wetlands. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 48 (5), 2003, 67-74.
Seoánez, M. Aguas residuales: tratamiento por humedales artificiales, fundamentos científicos, tecnologías, diseño. Madrid; Barcelona: Mundi- Prensa, 1999.
Shrestha, R., Haberl, R., Laber, J. Constructed wetland technology transfer to Nepal. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 43(11), 2001, 345-350.
Sim, Ch. H. The use of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. Malaysia: Wetlands International, 2003.
Tanner, C. Plants as ecosystem engineers in subsurface-flow treatment wetlands. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 44 (11-12), 2001, 9-17.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Design Manual Constructed wetlands and aquatic plant systems for municipal wastewater treatment, EPA, 1988.
____________, Constructed Wetlands Treatment of Municipal Wastewaters. EPA/625/R-99/010. September 2000.
____________,. Wastewater Technology Fact Sheet Wetlands: Subsurface Flow. EPA 832-F-00-023, Washington, D.C., September 2000.
Varón, M.R., Ginneken, M.V., Madera, C.A., Humedales de flujo subsuperficial: una alternativa natural para el tratamiento de aguas residuales domésticas en zonas tropicales. En: Ingeniería y Competitividad, Volumen 5, número 1, 2003, 28-35.
Vymazal, J. Distribution of Mn, Al, Cu and Zn in a constructed Wetland receiving Municipal Sewage. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 48(5), 2003, 299-305.
Vymazal, J., Balcarová, J., Dousuvá, H. Bacterial dynamics in the subsurface constructed wetlands. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 44 (11-12), 2001, 207- 209.
Wetzel, R. Fundamental processes within natural and constructed wetland ecosystems: short-term versus long-term. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 44 (11-12), 2001, 1-8.
Williams, J. B. et al. Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment in Colombia. En: Wat. Sci. Tech., 40 (3), 1999, 217-223.
How to Cite
Lara Borrero, J. A., & Vera-Puerto, I. L. (2010). Implantación y evolución de un humedal artificial de flujo subsuperficial en Cogua, Cundinamarca, Colombia. Ingenieria Y Universidad, 9(1). Retrieved from

Most read articles by the same author(s)