Reclaiming Water With Wetlands

by Christie Moon Crother, Project Coordinator; Eastern Municipal Water District, San Jacinto, Calif.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1994, Vol. 64, Issue 7, Pg. 52-55

Document Type: Feature article


Drought is a fact of life in southern California. The limited supply of potable water could stall economic growth in the region and may be available only in restricted amounts for environmental uses. In the future, the situation will require creative solutions and new technologies for water resources management. One concept generating interest among water agencies including the Eastern Municipal Water District in San Jacinto, Calif. is water reclamation through the reuse of municipal wastewater. Only 20% of the water sold by EMWD for municipal use is ground water. The remaining 80% is supplied by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. With the increasing uncertainty of this imported water, EMWD has identified reclamation and reuse of treated wastewater ground water resources management and water conservation as priorities. With that in mind, EMWD is investigating the use of multipurpose constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment, reclaimed water reuse, environmental enhancement, wildlife habitat creation, and public education and recreation. EMWD is evaluating the use of wetlands to treat nitrate contaminated groundwater, recharge groundwater basins, concentrate desalination unit brines and treat storm water runoff. Construction of the $1.2 million wetlands project started in January 1994 and will be completed by August 1994.

Subject Headings: Municipal water | Water reclamation | Water resources | Resource management | Municipal wastewater | Water conservation | Groundwater pollution | Wetlands (fresh water) | California | United States

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