What is a VFI ?
A Vegetated Floating Island (VFI), also known as Floating Vegetated Island, is a vegetated device typically installed on the surface of a pond in order to improve water quality treatment.
Vegetated floating islands (VFIs) placed on the surface of these wetlands significantly enhance the efficiency of natural processes that reduce nutrients, suspended solids, heavy metals and other pollutants. Learn more about the ability of VFI to improve water quality.
See more at: http://www.iwaponline.com/wpt/007/wpt0070022.htm and
Where Did The Idea Start?
Chinampas, A large-scale aquaponics system known as a Chinampa has spurred a great deal of momentum for the vegetated floating island (VFI) that will enter ISU’s Lake LaVerne this Spring. A chinampa is known as “a method of Mesoamerican agriculture which uses small, rectangular areas of fertile arable land to grow crops on shallow lake beds.” (Biodiverseed, 2014).
Also referred to as “floating gardens,” chinampas in the Valley of Mexico were artificial islands that usually measured roughly 98 ft × 8.2 ft. They were created by staking out the shallow lake bed and then fencing in the rectangle with trees such as Salix bonplandiana (a willow) and Taxodium mucronatum (a cypress).Chinampas were separated by channels wide enough for a canoe to pass. These “islands” had very high crop yields with up to 7 crops a year. (Biodiverseed, 2014).
We looked at several precedent studies including Floating Islands International's Biohaven product (example image to the below)
BioHaven® floating islands (also known as floating treatment wetlands or FTWs) are a new and powerful tool in water stewardship. They biomimic natural floating islands to create a “concentrated” wetland effect. Independent laboratory tests showed removal rates far in excess of previously published data: 20 times more nitrate, 10 times more phosphate and 11 times more ammonia, using unplanted islands. They are also extremely effective at reducing total suspended solids and dissolved organic carbon in waterways.
- See more information about VFI at:
The ability of vegetated floating Islands to improve water quality in natural and constructed wetlands: a review