Biomatrix Water Floating Islands
Biomatrix Water Floating Islands
Biomatrix Water Floating Islands
Biomatrix Water Floating Islands Treatment Wetlands
Developed and perfected for over 20 years, Biomatrix Floating Islands are available in Canada from Canadianpond.ca. Superior construction and design will provide years of worry free service, making these award winning Biomatrix Floating Ecosystems the Best floating island on the market!
Floating islands are manufactured islands designed to create a terrestrial habitat in aquatic environments while helping purify the water in which they float. Commonly known as Floating Treatment Wetlands (FTW) these floating islands encourage plant growth above and below the waterline. The design allows for wetland and terrestrial plants to grow, providing more variety of plants species to do the important work of water purification. Biomatrix Floating Ecosystems are considered a Best Management Practice (BMP) to remove nutrients and improve water quality in lakes, ponds, canals. Unique to Biomatrix Floating Islands is the Dynamic Biofilter Media (DBM) that hangs below the island components, multiplying the island efficiency for water purification by creating rich habitat for billions of beneficial bacteria.
The technology of Biomatrix floating islands mimics how natural wetlands purify water. Through the sheer enormous surface area of the plant root systems, the island itself, and the Biofilter Media, Biomatrix floating islands provide habitat for biofilm growth (habitat of microscopic bacteria) that do the valuable work of purifying water. These floating treatment wetlands remove nutrients (TN, TP), suspended solids (TSS), metals (Zn, Cu) and excess ammonia (NH3), increasing the availability of oxygen for other processes. FTW have now been approved as a Stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) in several U.S. jurisdictions. Used in conjunction with lake-bottom aeration below the islands, the floating wetland treatment effect improves dramatically.
Table of content
Compared to other Floating Treatment Wetlands
What are the components of a Biomatrix Floating Islands?
How does a Biomatrix Floating Ecosystem work?
Adding Aeration Below the Islands
Island Design Options
Existing Island Projects
Planting and Care
Video playlist on YouTube
Compared to other floating treatment wetlands available on the market, Biomatrix Floating Ecosystems:
Are easy to incorporate into any landscape design and are extremely easy to install.
The islands are sold by component pieces that join easily together to create innumerable combinations and sizes of floating islands and shoreline extensions. Like Lego for Wetlands! One to two people can easily pick up a planted component piece for an efficient installation.
Robust materials are designed to be functional for many years.
The frame of the island is a sealed HDPE tube known as a Thermo-fused Tough Float™ that is self floating and supports internal layers of material for structure and wicking. Within the island structure is a flexible hollow hose that allows for easy planting. Coir is used to wrap component parts, creating a tidy and functional unit. Unlike other floating islands on the market, no recycled PET bottles are used, so they are very compatible in aquatic environments and will not degrade by UV light or bird action. One year warranty on manufacturer’s defaults.
Unique Biomatrix design permits successful planting of wetland and terrestrial plants.
Many more planting opportunities, for plant layering, and understory development. In addition, due to the unique design, islands do not require watering (to assist with plant establishment) after launch.
Intelligent design features that integrate easily into the islands.
- Biomatrix Dynamic Biofilter Media (DBM) hangs below the islands creating ideal habitat for growing or sustaining biofilms that do the important work of cleaning the water. Inspired by a variety of coral reef species, the Biomatrix Biofilter Media below the Biomatrix floating island creates a dynamic ecosystem capable of very efficient water purification.
- Bird Grazing Protection Systems are robust stainless steel fencing that clips into the corner units. Simply add the protective mesh (netting is not recommended) along the sides or above as a canopy, depending on the need. Flexible fence design allows for fence and fence free sections on the same island, so birds can rest but not denude the island while making a nest.
- Anchor kits that are user friendly, effective and designed specifically for Biomatrix Floating islands.
No planting medium required when planting wetland plants.
Wood chips, compost and moss can be used to complement the choice of plants. We offer support for choosing plants and planting layout. Contact us.
- Thermo-fused Tough Float™ Buoyancy pods around the island perimeter are durable and UV resistant.
- Internal flexible tubing adds buyoancy and structure for planting
- 6 layer Coir Multi-layer Planting Media offer support and moisture for 1 litre plants
- Rugged connection fittings from 304 Stainless steel
- No recycled PET bottles (that can degrade from UV exposure over time) used in the construction. This means over time, no micro-plastics in the water!
Plants are selected based on goals of the project. Larger pots (1-4 litres) are more efficient for establishment success and quick coverage, also less time is required for planting. Plants are planted into the multi-layer planting media at depths previously determined. Plant roots will grow quickly through the media touching the water, pulling up nutrients as the plant parts above and root systems below the island, begin to grow.
The revolutionary design of Biomatrix requires little or no planting medium unless terrestrial plants are also being used. This reduces cost in materials and labour especially for large island projects.
For nutrient removal it is recommended to remove (trim) above island plant parts (flowers, stems, leaves) in order to remove nutrients from the ecosystem. Roots don’t need trimming. However, allowing plants to die and disintegrate on the island begins the natural soil building process that will enrich the island for years to come. Eventually mosses and other ground coverings will fill in spaces along the edges and between plants.
Floating Islands for polluted Water
Please refer to these scientific papers citing floating wetlands for nutrient removal and remediation of storm water polluted by excess nutrients from various sources. Nitrogen, phosphorous, suspended solids, copper, zinc are among pollutants examined in these studies.
- Borne et al 2013, Floating treatment wetland retroﬁt to improve stormwater pond performance for suspended solids, copper (PDF)
- Chang et al 2012, Floating wetland mesocosm assessment of nutrient removal to reduce ecotoxicity in stormwater ponds (PDF)
- Stewart et al 2008, Floating Islands as an Alternative to Constructed Wetlands for Treatment of Excess Nutrients (PDF)
- Tanner et al 2011, Floating Treatment Wetlands – A new tool for nutrient management in lakes and waterways (PDF)
- White & Cousins 2013, Floating treatment wetland aided remediation of nitrogen and phosphorus from simulated stormwater (PDF)
- Waste Water Treatment for removing nitrates, phosphates, ammonia
- Storm Water Management for mitigating surface/storm water run-off and nutrient spiking
- Lake Restoration for mining, pollution mitigation, eutrophication
- Habitat Creation and Management for zoos, provincial or municipal parks, aquaculture
- Wetland Habitat Compensation for developers, industry, infrastructure
- Landscape beautification for botanical gardens, universities, public spaces, golf courses
- Coastal Restoration, flooding mitigation, levee stabilization, shoreline protection, marsh creation, re-vegetation and protection of other erosion sensitive settings.
- Pure and Applied Research
- Canal, river, lake shoreline restoration
Adding linear aeration with Bubble Tubing® is an excellent way to reach water treatment goals. Lake bottom aeration below the islands provides an oxygenated environment in which the aerobic bacteria can thrive. The biofilm that forms on the undersurface of the islands, and that colonize the biofilter media becomes habitat for billions upon billions of beneficial bacteria. In this way, a perfect Wetland Treatment Effect is created, as the bacteria do the important work of consuming excess nutrients in the water.
There are three grades (2D, 3D, and 4D) in the Biomatrix Floating Island Product Line.
- For very large projects requiring naturalized islands with less internal structure we recommend 2D islands.
- The most popular model is the 3D model where the multi-layer planting media gives structure for planting large plants. The hardware is compatible for long term performance under normal circumstances.
- For circumstances of high water flow (> 2 m / second), large waves (> 1 m high), or exposed sites we recommend 4D as the stainless steel hardware and internal mesh structures are stronger.
Please specify which grade of model you are considering.
The intelligent modul designs (PDF) are easy to work with. The codes indicate the shape, length, width, left or right attachment hardware. Module components attach easily to one another with rugged stainless steel hardware.
- Shapes: R-rectangle, T-triangle, TZ or Z-polygon
- Length: 2.3m or 3m long ( 7.5 feet or 9.8 feet)
- Width: 1.15m (3.8 feet). All components are this standard width with the exception of the Z2.3 module, whose side is 1m wide, designed as an end unit.
- LH : hardware on left hand side; RH : hardware on right hand side
Designing a project is easy with component parts. Contact us for design support and pricing.
Sold by module and not square footage
Other floating islands consider surface area as a unit for pricing however the Biomatrix Floating Islands are designed to consider the three dimensions: the top surface, the deep internal structures and the lower substrate where the roots interface with the water. This distinction is critical, as flora and fauna come to inhabit every square centimetre of the Biomatrix surfaces. This explains why pricing is primarily given per ecological module and not square foot, as square surface footage does not correctly represent the ecological diversity of the Biomatrix floating islands. Having said this we can give a square foot price but it’s like comparing apples to dried apple slices.
Biomatrix Water has been installing Floating Treatment Wetlands all over the globe. Here is a gallery of photos from projects installed by them.
- We recommend planting indigenous aquatic perennial herbs in larger formats (1litre size is ideal) for greater planting success. Plants must tolerate full sun. Plants not included with the islands.
- Plants that like wet feet do best on the FTW’s. The Biomatrix design allows for terrestrial plants too.
- Avoid introducing non-native or invasive species onto the islands.
- Allow naturalization, after several years, nature will become the gardener, and the plant community will evolve with mosses, or interesting wetland plants such as sundew (Drosera).
- Islands can stay in water year round, freezing and thawing cycles do not seem to harm the islands.
- Initial planting: If not using a bird fencing system, plant islands after water fowl nesting period to avoid denuding of island by nesting birds. It is strongly recommended to use a bird fence. Once the vegetation is established, the fence is less visible but continues to protect the island from plant denuding by birds.
- Avoid tasty flowering plants like lilies, nasturtium that may attract muskrat.
- Case study: Floating Water Quality Islands in Hicklin Lake, White Center
- Portfolio: Lake Associations, Preserving & Maintaining Natural Environments
- Portfolio: Restore Wetlands & Habitat with Floating Island Ecosystems
- Learn: Using Floating Islands for Wetlands Compensation