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Waldo Wetlands Project


Waldo Weltand Project - Man-made Wetlands Under ConstructionThe Waldo Wetlands Project is a collaborative effort  of the City of Waldo, the Suwannee River Water Management District, the DEP, the USEPA, 104(g)(1) Operator Outreach Training Program, the  University of Florida Center for Wetlands and the State of Florida Department of Forestry and is coordinated by the University of Florida Center for Training, Research and Education for Environmental Occupations (UF/TREEO).

Waldo Weltand Project - Man-made Wetlands Under ConstructionThe purposes of this project are to design, construct and manage a man-made wetland for tertiary wastewater treatment for the City of Waldo WWTP.  It is envisioned that the Waldo Wetlands Project will provide additional benefits beyond this primary purpose, which include: protection of the headwaters of the Santa Fe River, a designated Outstanding Florida Water by eliminating unwanted discharges; an ecological enhancement within the Santa Fe River watershed by providing a natural habitat for a diversity of valued wildlife, a nursery for aquatic plants to be used by other wastewater or stormwater facilities, a wetlands display and training area for local schools, colleges and universities, a training area for operators of advanced natural wastewater treatment facilities, and a nature walk and birdwatching area to be used by the citizens of Florida.  As a matter of fact, Waldo WWTF recently won the EPA National Award for Most Improved Plant!  The man-made wetland cells went on-line in May of 1999 with growth monitoring and management period to extent for two years after that.

Scope of the Waldo Wetlands Project:

Percolation Ponds to be ConvertedThe goal of the design was to convert three existing percolation ponds to effective wetland treatment cells with minimal alteration to the existing structure.  Water depth and flow routing is controlled in each cell with man-made berms and culverts.  At design flow rate of 85,000 GPD depth of water in each treatment cell is expected to be approximately 12 inches, resulting in a 20-day hydraulic retention time. The estimated treatment performance for the man-made wetlands, using a first-order areal model with predictive reaction rate constants (Kadlec and Knight 1996), is as follows:

Parameter Influent Concentration
Est. Background
Estimated Outflow
BOD 20 2 2.05
TSS 20 3 5.00
TN 10 1.5 1.69
TP 5 0.1 0.71

These predictions are contingent upon establishing a viable and healthy wetland plant population throughout the treatment cells, as the biota is crucial to system performance. 

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Estimated Project Budget:

Construction $22,3000
Conceptual Design, Planting, Monitoring and Management (during construction) $14,200
Materials (e.g. plants) $12,000
Miscellaneous $  2,000
Total $50,500


The preceding text and photos were taken from a report prepared by John Juston, an Environmental Engineering graduate student at the University of Florida, Edward Toby of the TREEO Center and Teresa Frame of the DEP.

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Last updated: September 21, 2011

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