The aquatic plants were selected to match the environment of each zone. The depths of the wetlands vary between 1-foot to 3-feet. As the advanced treated wastewater that has been disinfected with both ultra-violet light and chorine flows slowly through the 40-acres of wetlands, nutrients are “polished” from the water.
Water entering the constructed wetlands is around 3 mg/L total nitrogen. The resulting “polished” water has about 1 mg/L total nitrogen remaining in it prior to being discharged into the Neuse River. The constructed wetlands project cost $3.3 million to build; $1.64 million was provided in grant funds by the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the City provided $1.66 million.
The constructed wetlands “polish” the water year round, even in the winter when the plants are dormant, due to the microbial organisms in the soils and roots. The summertime is particularly beautiful in the constructed wetlands. Lush aquatic vegetation fills the basins. There are many varieties of flowering plants, such as the Blue Flag Iris, Fragrant Water Lily, Spatterdock, Pickerel Weed, and American Lotus. Visitors enjoy the scenic tours at the Constructed Wetlands.