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Domestic Wastewater Wetland Sites in Florida


There are essentially two general types of domestic wastewater wetlands - natural and man-made (constructed) wetlands. Chapter 62-611, FAC, wastewater to wetlands rule, breaks natural wetlands into receiving and treatment wetlands. The difference between the two is explained below. For permitted purposes the wastewater to wetlands rule further classifies natural wetlands as hydrologically-altered or not. The intent of classifying certain wastewater wetlands as hydrologically-altered is to restore or prevent a previous or potential loss of wetland acreage. The use of hydrologically-altered wetland as well as creating wetlands for effluent polishing are both considered reuse of reclaimed water activities, according to Chapter 62-610, FAC.

Some domestic wastewater facilities utilize a combination of more than one of these types, typically man-made wetlands and natural wetlands. There are 17 natural (both treatment and receiving) wastewater wetlands comprising roughly 6,200 acres and a total of 21 constructed wetland sites comprising roughly 4,000 acres across Florida. Of those, 5 facilities use a combination of both natural and constructed wetland systems, making that a total of 33 permitted domestic wastewater wetland sites in the state of Florida. A complete list of these wastewater wetlands sites is provided below according to their classification.

Natural Receiving Wetlands

Receiving wetlands receive the highest level of treatment - advanced waste treatment (AWT) standards. This is equivalent to not more than, on an annual average basis, 5 mg/L of CBOD, 5 mg/L of TSS, 3 mg/L of TN and 1 mg/L of TP, along with basic disinfection.

  1. Baisden Swamp, City of Jasper WWTP (since 1914)
    Permitted for 1.2 MGD, approx. 218 acres of freshwater, forested wetlands
  2. Bayou Marcus Wetlands (since 1998) 
    Bayou Marcus Water Reclamation Facility, ECUA
    Permitted for 8.2 MGD to approx. 1,100 acres of freshwater, forested wetlands
  3. Blacks Ford Swamp (since 1999)
    Blacks Ford Regional WWTF (formerly St. Johns County North), United Water Florida
    Permitted for 0.49 MGD to approx. 311 acres of freshwater, forested wetlands
  4. Boot Wetland Treatment System, Poinciana Utilities (since 1985)
    Permitted for 0.255 MGD to approx. 115 acres of cypress-gum wetlands
  5. East Bay Swamp (since 1996)
    Hurlburt Field Advanced WWTF, US Air Force
    Permitted 1.0 MGD to approx. 700 acres of freshwater, forested wetlands
  6. Huckleberry Swamp, City of Apalachicola WWTP (since 1985)
    Permitted for 1.0 MGD to approx. 243 acres of freshwater, scrub-shrub wetlands
  7. Isolated Receiving Wetland Reuse Site (since 1999)
    East Central Regional WWTF, City of West Palm Beach
    Permitted for 6 MGD to approx. 1,458 acres of wet prairies (part of the Loxahatchee Slough) and 323 acres of woody restoration wetlands
  8. Leesburg WWTF (since 1997)
    Permitted for 0.57 MGD to approx. 500 acres in the Okahumpka Swamp
  9. Port of the Islands South (since 1994)
    Permitted for 0.2 MGD to approx. 35 acres of cypress dome wetlands
  10. Yulee Swamp, Yulee Regional WWTF (since 1996)
    Permitted for 0.5 MGD to approx. 350 acres of mixed deciduous swamp

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Natural Treatment Wetlands

Treatment wetlands must receive effluent that has been treated to at least secondary standards (20 mg/L of CBOD and 20 mg/L of TSS) with nitrification and basic disinfection. Monitoring standards within a treatment wetland are more extensive and frequent to ensure that the type, nature and function of the wetland is being protected.

  1. Deer Park Wetlands (since 1988)
    Deer Park Subregional Reuse Facility, Pasco County Utilities Department
    Permitted for 1.2 MGD to approx. 146 acres of cypress dome wetlands
  2. Pace Swamp, Pace Water Systems, Inc. (since 1999)
    Permitted for 1.0 MGD to approx. 140 acres of freshwater, forested wetlands

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Man-Made (Constructed) Wetlands

Constructed wetlands are engineered systems created from uplands that have been designed to utilize the natural processes of wetlands to assist in the polishing wastewater effluent. Some of these systems are operated with the sole purpose of treating effluent, while others are also being used as a water source for the creation of wetland habitat for wildlife use, environmental enhancement and public recreation.

  1. Blue Heron Water Reclamation Facility, City of Titusville (since 1990)
    Permitted for 6.75 MGD to approx. 264 acres of constructed wetlands
  2. City of Ft Meade WWTF (since 1992)
    Permitted for 1.0 MGD to approx. 168.4 acres of constructed wetlands
  3. City of Lakeland, W. Carl Dicks WWTP (since 1987)   
    Permitted for 14.0 MGD to approx. 1,400 acres of constructed wetlands
  4. Glades County WWTP (since 2000)
    Permitted for 0.135 MGD to 52.25 acres of non-discharging constructed wetlands
  5. Green Cay Wetlands (since 2005) NEW!
    Palm Beach County Southern Region (see also Wakodahatchee below)
    Permitted for 5.0 MGD to approx. 125 acres of constructed wetlands
  6. High Springs Commercial Park (since 2002)
    Permitted for 0.03 MGD to approx. 5 acres of constructed wetland
  7. Hilliard Regional WWTP (since 1996)
    Permitted for 0.32 MGD to approx. 5 acres of constructed wetlands
  8. Orlando Easterly Wetlands (since 1987) 
    Iron Bridge Regional Water Pollution Control Facility
    Permitted for 35 MGD to approx. 1,220 acres of constructed wetlands
  9. Orange County Northwest WRF (since 2002)
    Permitted for 3.0 MGD to approx. 70 acres of constructed wetland
  10. Petro PSC Truckstop WWTF (since 1995)
    Permitted for 0.05 MGD to approx. 6 acres of constructed wetlands
  11. Rice Creek Utility (since 1998)
    Permitted for 0.225 MGD to approx. 2.18 acres of constructed wetlands
  12. Spencer WWTF, Clay County Utility Authority 
    Permitted for 0.5 MGD to approx. 2.3 acres of constructed wetlands that discharge to Spencer Wetland (a 700-acre natural wetland not permitted as a "receiving wetland" per Rule 62-611.650(2), FAC)
  13. Viera Wetlands (since 2002)
    South Central Regional WWTF, Brevard County Utilities Department
    Permitted for 2.5 MGD to approx. 163 acres of created wetland system
  14. Wakodahatchee Wetland (since 1997)  
    Palm Beach County Southern Region  (see also Green Cay above)
    Permitted for 2.0 MGD to approx. 50 acres of constructed wetlands
  15. West Regional WWTF, Indian River County Utility (since 1994)
    Permitted for 4.0 MGD to approx. 169 acres of treatment/reuse system
  16. Yankee Lake Wetland Reuse System (since 1990)
    NW Regional WWTF, Seminole County
    Permitted for 2.5 MGD to approx. 145 acres of man-made wetlands

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Combination Natural and Man-Made Wetlands

These systems are a combination of man-made wetlands and natural wetlands. In all cases discharge occurs first to constructed wetlands for further polishing of the effluent before being discharged to a natural wetland.

  1. Northwood AWT Treatment & Effluent Disposal System (since 1989)
    Permitted for 0.25 MGD through 10.5 acres of duel channel constructed wetlands to 33 acres of natural receiving wetlands
  2. Orange County Eastern Service Area (OCESA) Wetlands (since 1988)
    Eastern Water Reclamation Facility, Orange County Public Utilities Division
    Permitted for 6.2 MGD to approx. 150 acres of combined constructed wetlands and approx. 150 acres of natural receiving wetlands
  3. State Road 16 WWTP, St. Johns County Utility Department
    Permitted for 0.396 MGD through four zones of man-made wetlands to approx. 67 acres of hydrologically-altered treatment wetlands
  4. Waldo Wetlands (since 1999) 
    Permitted for 0.099 MGD through approx. 50 acres of constructed wetlands and approx. 100 acres of natural receiving wetlands
  5. Wolf Creek Swamp, City of Monticello WWTP (since 1988)
    Permitted for 1.0 MGD through 33.3 acres of constructed wetlands to approx. 250 acres of natural, receiving wetlands (blackgum-sweetbay swamp)

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Last updated: September 21, 2011

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