What are the disadvantages of wetlands?

What are the disadvantages of wetlands?

Disadvantages of artificial wetlands

Wetlands are considered to be “areas of marshes, swamps and peat bogs, or surfaces covered with water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, stagnant or flowing, fresh, brackish or salty. Artificial wetlands in sewage treatment may be marine water and their depth at low tide does not exceed six meters” (Source: Ramsar Convention).

In the areas called “wetlands” live and develop different types of organisms (animals and plants) adapted to these flooding conditions. In this type of ecosystem, certain physical and chemical processes develop that are capable of purifying the water by eliminating large quantities of organic matter, suspended solids, minerals (nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.) and even toxic products (lead, mercury, etc.).

Artificial wetlands, as their name suggests, are man-made flooded areas.    In these areas, the physical, chemical and biological processes of pollutant elimination that normally occur in natural wetlands are generated.

Artificial Surface Flow Wetland


Examples of artificial wetlands

A wetland is an area of land, usually flat, whose surface is permanently or intermittently flooded.[2] When regularly covered with water, the soil becomes saturated, devoid of oxygen, and gives rise to a hybrid ecosystem between purely aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

The biological category of wetland includes areas of diverse geological properties such as swamps, marshes, marshes, swamps, peat bogs, as well as maritime coastal areas that are periodically flooded by tidal regimes (mangroves).[3]

Pantanos de Centla, in Tabasco, Mexico: the largest wetland in North America and one of the 15 most important in the world. “A wetland is an area of land surface that is temporarily or permanently flooded, regulated by climatic factors and in constant interrelationship with the living beings that inhabit it.”[5]

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“Areas of marsh, fen and peatland, or areas covered with water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water, the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters.”[5]

Operation of an artificial wetland

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A vertical flow constructed wetland is a filter bed in which aquatic vegetation is planted. Wastewater is discharged or dosed from a higher point on the surface, using a mechanical dosing system. The water flows vertically through the filter matrix to the bottom of the basin, where it is collected by a drainage pipe. The main difference between a vertical flow wetland and a horizontal flow wetland is not only the direction of the flow path but the aerobic conditions (TILLEY et al. 2018; MONTIEL 2014). This technology is not yet widely used in Mexico; it has been implemented in pilot treatment plants (UNAM 2017; SEGURA 2017).

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