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Domestic Wastewater to Wetlands Program
Orlando Easterly Wetlands - 1999 Performance Summary

 

The primary purpose of the Orlando Easterly Wetlands (OEW) is to reduce nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) in reclaimed water produced at the City of Orlando’s Iron Bridge Regional Water Reclamation Facility Based on 12 years of operational data, the OEW has proven to be a reliable means for consistently fulfilling this purpose. The year 1999 was no exception. A summary of influent flow and influent and effluent total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) concentrations by month for the year are presented in 
Table 1.

TN loading (a product of the flow and influent TN concentration) to the OEW in 1999 was 348 lbs/day as compared to a historical average of 299 lbs/day - a 16% increase. TP loading in 1999 was 46 lbs/day compared to the historical loading rate of 33 lbs/day - nearly a 40% increase. Even with these higher loadings, effluent TN and TP concentrations were nearly identical to historical averages and well below Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit limits, demonstrating that the OEW’s capacity for nutrient removal may be underutilized.


Effluent nutrient concentrations from the Orlando Easterly Wetlands have been consistently below the Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit limits of 2.31 mg/L TN and 0.20 mg/L TP.


Figures 1 and 2 show TN and TP reduction through the OEW for 1999 as compared to historical averages. TN removal rates through the system, shown in Figure 1, were very similar to those experienced historically, even though loadings were higher. As in the past, nearly all the TN reduction occurred within 2,000 to 4,000 feet of the influent structure.

TP concentrations through the OEW, shown in Figure 2, were higher than concentrations measured historically. Nearly the entire system appears to have been utilized to achieve the effluent TP concentration.

With the consistent performance of the OEW in nutrient removal, the City was able to continue to focus on enhancing wildlife habitat in 1999.

Operations continued to keep nuisance and exotic species levels at a minimum. As a result of the ongoing efforts, more than 170 bird species have been seen utilizing the OEW, along with resident river otters, bobcats, feral pigs, and whitetail deer. Additionally, black bear and a Florida panther were observed on the property in 1999.

Also, in 1999, to promote the OEW as a public park, the City held the first annual Orlando Wetlands Park Festival. The festival attracted more than 500 people. Festival participants were treated to guided nature walks and bicycle rides, guided bus tours, various presentations regarding wetlands and wildlife, numerous demonstrations, and many different display booths. Because of the success of the festival, it will become an annual event.


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Last updated: September 21, 2011

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