Degree Name

Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours)


School of Earth & Environmental Science


Brian Jones


The study of two constructed wetland systems in Shellharbour was undertaken to create an inventory of the various components constituting the wetlands. This inventory was then used to determine the wetlands functionality in regards to their intended purpose and design, and create a series of management recommendations for submission to Shellharbour City Council. The constructed wetlands were designed to provide stormwater detention and treatment to the recently developed residential catchments within the Shellharbour Local Government Area, and provide compensatory habitat for local fauna and flora.

Water, soil and vegetation analyses were undertaken to examine the wetlands. Water quality testing at Myimbarr/Tongarra Creek system revealed that water quality improves and becomes stabilised as it moves through the catchment, indicating the efficiency of the wetlands in treating stormwater runoff. Results obtained at Shell Cove sites indicated that water quality was good and conditions are quite consistent throughout the Shell Cove catchment, however as the ponds are disconnected from one another results are not indicative of patterns occurring on a system-wide scale. Soil types determined within the wetlands included silty clay, silty clay loam, silty loam and sand. Soil pollution was not identified at the Myimbarr/Tongarra Creek sites, however elevated readings of Cu, Zn and Pb obtained at one Shell Cove site indicate small-scale pollution may be present. Vegetation surveys showed that introduced species were problematic throughout both wetlands systems, as were dominant native species. It was determined that the wetlands were achieving their intended purpose in providing stormwater treatment and habitat, however areas for improvement were identified. Management should target water quality, sedimentation, vegetation and catchment practices to maintain the health and functionality of the constructed wetland systems and prevent future degradation.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.