One man’s waste water is another man’s “accidental” wetland: How urban wetlands can revolutionize restoration

After the Salt River passes through the metropolitan area of Phoenix, AZ about 90% of the original water has been removed for human and agriculture use. Because of reduced water connectivity, similar to many urban streamside areas, plant and wildlife diversity in the Phoenix area have taken a big hit. “Accidental” wetlands forming along the river may be the money-saving restoration solution Phoenix, and hundreds of other cities, are looking for.

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Wastewater and wetlands: a friendship for the ages?

Today’s wastewater is not what it once was. Pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and other lifestyle products are contributing compounds to wastewater that have emerged as harmful contaminants in the environment. In order to combat these contaminants, which are not being effectively treated by conventional wastewater treatment plants, some places have incorporated constructed wetlands as an additional treatment method meant to eliminate emerging contaminants before they enter into the environment.

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