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Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) are manmade ecosystems that mimic natural wetlands. FTWs are created using floating rafts that support plants grown hydroponically. The rafts float on a wet pond water surface and can be used to improve water quality by filtering, consuming, or breaking down pollutants (e.g., nutrients, sediment, and metals) from the water (fig. 1). FTWs may represent a relatively low cost and sustainable engineered best management practice (BMP) for reducing pollution in stormwater. Evaluating their effectiveness as a BMP is the subject of ongoing research at Virginia Tech and other locations across the U.S.
August 28, 2013