Thursday, March 4, 2010

Floating Wetlands in Florida - Cleaning Stormwater

Can Floating Wetlands continue to uptake nutrients in the cooler weather?  Absolutely.  Though plant growth may slow during shorter days and cooler temps, many continue the photosynthesis process even after freezes.  The picture here is a tussock - floating wetland or floating wetland treatment system after one of the coldest winters on record here in Florida.  Thought he temperatures dipped into the 20's during nights for several weeks, many of the plants continued their steady growth.  Seen above, the canna exhibits frost damage however the Juncus and grasses are still growing.

ACF's floating wetland platforms use aquatic plants from certified wetland nurseries, the intent being to keep inadvertent exotic or invasive weeds out of the island.

These Florida Native Aquatic Plants sequester nutrients such as Nitrogen and Phosphorus in the leaves primarily, and in the roots also.  The upper biomass can be harvested and composted, thereby completing the nutrient removal cycle.  Years of documented research by Dr. Reddy of the University of Florida sets forth the average nutrient content of different Florida native aquatic species.  Some species will uptake more nitrogen than phosphorous, others more phosphorous than nitrogen.  Choose the best aquatic for your particular water quality issue.

Be aware - some Floating Wetland distributors may tell you you must change out the plants every year.  This may be nothing more than a business model sales pitch.  They make their money on selling you more and more plants.  I've heard of pitches where the salesman will say the upper biomass does not contain nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous but only the roots do.  Basic botany says otherwise.  Your floating wetland should last for years without having to replace vegetation.

Floating Wetlands - helping keep Florida's waterways clean.  Call for more information 904-294-2656.

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