Harris Floating Wetlands

Harris Floating Wetlands

Installing & creating the latest generation floating treatment wetlands since 2005

Harris Floating Wetlands is the brainchild of Sean and Kate Harris. They have been installing and producing effective floating treatment wetlands since 2005 in Australia and beyond.

Combining the efficiency of natural biological treatment with a flexible, modular system, Harris Floating Wetlands offers an effective, customisable and sustainable environmental solution with its unique floating treatment wetlands.

The system consists of a buoyancy raft, established wetland mats and, where necessary, bird protection cages and carp protection netting. It improves water quality and remove pollutants


  1. Improves water quality and remove pollutants
  2. Gives the riparian system a fighting chance

Before we can quote we ask you to provide information on the site and what you want to achieve. This includes:

  • size of the water body
  • will birds and carp need to be managed
  • existing water quality data; and
  • what are the objectives water treatment / biodiversity / streambank rehabilitation / aesthetics

Our standard design (rectangle series of rafts) are the most cost effective to supply, transport and install, so this method will give you the best outcome for your water treatment budget.

Sizing the floating treatment wetland for your site

Harris Floating Wetlands - detectable water treatment is achieved with a floating wetland covering 10% of the surface area of the water body and 7 day detention time

Current research suggests that detectable water treatment is achieved with a floating wetland covering 10% of the surface area of the water body and 7 day detention time. This is a linear relationship, so a smaller floating wetland over a longer detention time will also achieve detectable water treatment.

This rate of coverage may cost effective for small ponds or dams, but is likely to be too expensive for larger lakes and reservoirs. For larger waterbodies we suggest that the floating wetland is strategically located near the inlet or outlet or as a boom across the water body to maximise opportunity for close contact between roots and pollutants.

There are numerous research papers on the effectiveness of floating wetlands to treat various pollutants (ie., copper, zinc, nitrogen, phosphorus etc) and we would be happy to provide you with the source of this material to help you make your decisions.
In some cases a staged installation is the best way to see what systems and options will work best. For example, 20m2 in year 1, followed by another 30m2 in year 2. Our quote will include the cost to supply, transport, anchor and install. We can provide a maintenance service which involves 1-2 inspections by boat per year to undertake any weeding or adjustments necessary.

Trials, research and development

Research and Development is a major part of what we do to address the unique design issues that arise from each unique installation. Such design improvements are first tested on our own research sites and then modifications are further tested in the field.

These improvements help us to be the leaders in the field when it comes to species we can grow on our floating wetlands, methods for protecting them against bird predation, protecting the roots from European Carp (cut off below base of floating wetland) and stabilising eroded stream and river banks.

For some sites, we will recommend the installation of a 10m2 trial installation as a precursor to a larger installation. There are many advantages to this approach including:

  • Both the client and community get to see the smaller version before committing to the much larger installation;
  • Opportunity to trial the installation without bird protection cages to see whether the local birds will be a problem;
  • Opportunity to trial different types of bird protection to compare effectiveness and visual appearance;
  • Trial carp protection netting;
  • Trial the different design options – standard rafts, streambank edges, floating islands and pre planted coir mats; and
  • Trial different plant species for local conditions.

We are happy to discuss the best trial options to suit the unique characteristics of your site.

Supply, installation and anchoring

Harris Floating Wetlands - NSW's expert in floating wetlands.Our quoted fee will include the complete service for an anchored floating wetland or streambank edge. We can advise on the type of anchoring best suited for your site and can prepare a design for you to install these anchors or we can do for you.


We may be based at Jamberoo but this should not stop us from delivering our system anywhere in Australia or overseas if the cost of transport is not prohibitive.

We have delivered our rafts and cages to clients in Far North Queensland and South Australia. We can also import coir mats to the closest port of destination to make the process more efficient.


The submerged growing bed is a unique feature of our FTW design. This provides a shallow zone of water on the surface of the FTW that helps prevent the establishment of terrestrial weeds and provides further habitat for biofilm (basis of water treatment) on the stems of plants.

Weed removal is the only maintenance activity we have found to be required. The FTW does not include sufficient buoyancy to support human weight, so any maintenance must be undertaken by a dinghy from either side using a kayak or a dinghy.

We recommend that the FTW is weeded (by dinghy) at least a year and all anchor pints are checked and tightened if necessary.