Constructed Wetlands as a Natural Resource for Water Quality Improvement in Malaysia


Tropical wetlands have numerous natural functions, one of which is the filtration of wastewater for water quality improvement. The aim of this paper is to investigate the performance of constructed wetlands in Universiti Sains Malaysia for water quality treatment of stormwater runoff. A total of 17 sampling stations were selected from different sections of possessing different compositions, characteristics and plant species. Weekly physico-chemical and biological parameters were analysed during the one year period starting from December 2010 to December 2011. The results exhibited significant improvement of water quality as the concentration of nitrate, nitrite, ammoniacal-nitrogen, orthophosphate, TSS, BOD and COD decreased after the water passed through the macrophyte and micropool zones before being discharged to the wetland outlet. The concentration of nitrite was significantly reduced (80%); nitrate (61.56%), ammoniacal-nitrogen (51.49%), orthophosphate (60.98%), TSS (67.86%), BOD (27.7%) and COD (46.43%). The decrease in the concentrations of the above pollutants showed that the improvement of water quality was performed in the wetland. Most of the concentrations fall in Class IIA and IIB based on National Water Quality Standards for Malaysia and Department of Environment (DOE) Water Quality Index Classification. Biological measurement showed high diversity of species. Based on the results obtained, the macrophyte zone showed a high number of species and percentage distribution of phytoplankton and zooplankton, starting from the Wetland 1and 2 until the outlet wetland (14.6% - 14.9% until 3.5%). While for fish distribution, Oreochromis niloticus was the dominant fish species from the others seven species found in the constructed wetland. Overall, the results from this study demonstrate that constructed wetlands significantly improve water quality of stormwater runoff, and that they are a good natural resource for the sustenance and maintenance of biodiversity.

Share and Cite:

Shaharuddin, S. , Chan, N. , Zakaria, N. , Ghani, A. , Chang, C. and Roy, R. (2014) Constructed Wetlands as a Natural Resource for Water Quality Improvement in Malaysia. Natural Resources, 5, 292-298. doi: 10.4236/nr.2014.57027.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Chan, N.W., Zakaria, N.A., Ab Ghani, A. and Lian T.Y. (2004) Integrating Official and Traditional Flood Hazard Management in Malaysia. In: Ab Ghani, A., Zakaria, N.A., Abdullah, R. and Ahmad, M.S.S., Eds., Rivers ’04 Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Managing Rivers in the 21st Century: Issues & Challenges, River Engineering and Urban Drainage Research Centre (REDAC), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 409-419.
[2] Chan, N.W. (2012) Managing Urban Rivers and Water Quality in Malaysia for Sustainable Water Resources. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 28, 343-354.
[3] Chan, N.W. (2006) A Comparative Study of Water Resources Usage by Households in Georgetown—Malaysia and Pattaya—Thailand. Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering, 3, 223-228.
[4] Musa, S.M.B.S. and Chan, N.W. (2011) Pengurusan Banjir di Malaysia: Pendekatan Baru Berfokus Manual Saliran Mesra Alam (MSMA). In: Jahi, J.Md., Razman, M.R., Arifin, K., Efizon, D., Hasan, B., Aiyub, K., Awang, A. and Zakaria, S.Z.S., Eds., Perubahan Persekitaran Di Alam Melayu: Prosiding Seminar Antarabangsa Ke-4 Ekologi, HabitatManusia & Perubahan Persekitaran di Alam Melayu. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, 896-904.
[5] MoNRE (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment) (2011) Urban Stormwater Management Manual. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia.
[6] Roy, R., Chan, N.W. and Rainis, R. (2013) Development of Indicators for Sustainable Rice Farming in Bangladesh: A Case Study with Participative Multi-Stakeholder Involvement. World Applied Sciences Journal, 22, 672-682.
[7] Baneshi, M., Kalantary, R.R., Jafari, A.J., Nasseri, S., Jaafarzadeh, N. and Esrafili, A. (2014) Effect of Bioaugmentation to Enhance Phytoremediationfor Removal of Phenanthrene and Pyrene from Soil with Sorghum and Onobrychis Sativa. Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering, 12, 24.
[8] Roy, R., Chan, N.W., Uemura, T. and Imura, H. (2013) The Vision of Agri-Environmental Sustainability in Bangladesh: How the Policies, Strategies and Institutions Delivered? Journal of Environmental Protection, 4, 40-51.
[9] Roy, R. and Chan, N.W. (2014) A Multi-Level Evaluation of Policy Integration of Human Resource Development in Agriculture Sector. Natural Resources, 5, 119-129.
[10] Chan, N.W. (2009) Issues and Challenges in Water Governance in Malaysia. Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering, 3, 143-152.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.