The Orlando Wetlands Park receives on average approximately 14 million gallons of reclaimed water per day. The Park’s primary purpose is to provide advanced treatment of that reclaimed water so that it can be safely discharged into the St. Johns River.
Water quality is monitored in a variety of ways, from automatic samplers that collect multiple samples daily, to manual collections of water from all around the park, the St. Johns River and even groundwater on a monthly basis. All these samples are analyzed by the Environmental Laboratory at Iron Bridge Water Reclamation Facility. In-the-field data is also collected and pooled together with laboratory data, the Park staff are able to make informed adjustments to the wetlands system in order to provide optimal water treatment.
Orlando Wetlands Park Annual Report
2016 Compliance and Performance Annual Report – Full Version (~23MB)
Park staff work hard to manage the wetlands in order to maintain optimal conditions for the treatment of reclaimed water. This requires proactively promoting a healthy balance between the flora, fauna, and biogeochemical processes in the wetlands. Land management work includes the removal of invasive and nuisance species by mechanical and chemical means, planting for increased biodiversity and nutrient removal efficiency, and occasional construction and renovation projects. The Park strives to maintain and increase biodiversity as this has proven to be an effective means for increasing the efficiency of reclaimed water treatment in the Park while minimizing the need for direct human intervention in order to maintain water quality. Park staff may be routinely observed driving vehicles and construction equipment throughout the Park, operating airboats, or going into the wetland waters. These are normal activities and are part of the Park’s proactive approach to maintaining the pristine conditions of the Park.
The reclaimed water that flows through the Park is nutrient rich and leads to an abundance of growth in the wetlands. Overtime, the overgrowth leads to an abundance of decaying plant matter that turns into thick, muddy muck that slows down the ability of the wetlands to treat the reclaimed water. Learn more by visiting the Wetlands Renovation page.