Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Philip Reeder, Ph.D.


Constructed wetland, Agricultural runoff, Sediment, Total suspended solids, Nutrients


Balm Road Treatment Marsh is a 12 ha constructed wetland treatment system in south-central Hillsborough County, Florida created to improve water quality in Bullfrog Creek and ultimately Tampa Bay. The treatment system was designed to treat runoff from approximately 741 ha of upstream agricultural land prior to discharging into the creek, with the primary goals of reducing sediment and nutrient loads. Water quality data from four sites on Bullfrog Creek were analyzed to determine impacts to ambient water quality and pollutant load reductions downstream. Results were compared to the performance of other wetlands to treat both nonpoint and point source pollution. Impacts to ambient water quality in the creek were found to be minimal, if any, and although significant load reductions were found downstream, they could not be attributed to wetland treatment affects with confidence. In general, nonpoint source pollution, particularly from agriculture, was found to be treated less effectively than point sources. The importance of monitoring the performance of stormwater projects while employing a strategic sample design and including receiving water impacts is highlighted.