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Design, Construction, and Analysis of Floating Wetlands


The primary objectives for this study are to:

  1. Develop performance standards to evaluate floating wetland designs that meet the needs and objectives of the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD).
  2. Make recommendations of preferred floating wetlands designs for use in HCFCD retention basins.
  3. Develop a monitoring plan and evaluate the ability of floating wetlands to improve surface water quality and provide other ecosystem services.

Study Area

Harris County, TX

Project Period

2019 – 2020


The Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) is a Phase 1 MS4 co-permittee together with the City of Houston and Harris County. Under this permit, the permittees are responsible for reducing pollutant loads. The HCFCD is interested in building and deploying floating treatment wetland systems as an additional technology approach to reduce stormwater pollutant loads. The HCFCD is interested in monitoring and assessing the performance of these systems at enhancing targeted pollutant reductions in a flood control basin. An additional goal is to assess and compare the ecological services provided by floating treatment wetlands.

Publications and Presentations

Chau, K., Oakley, J.W., Vega, R., and Guillen, G. 2022. Floating treatment wetlands: a pilot-study of the stormwater treatment potential in urban catchments in a subtropical environment. Texas Academy of Science, 125th Annual Meeting, Houston, TX. Presentation.

Project Sponsors


For local waterways, floating wetlands offer filtration power, 5/4/21


  • Environmental Institute of Houston

    Phone: 281-283-3950

    North Office Annex
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 540
    Houston, TX 77058-1002