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OMG it’s a FTW! Wetland treatment a Blacktown first

14 June 2017

A pond that essentially cleans itself has been built by Blacktown City Council at William Lawson Park, Prospect. 

Called a “floating treatment wetland” (FTW), it is the first to be built in a public reserve in Blacktown City and uses water plants to filter stormwater and remove sediments, the Mayor of Blacktown City, Councillor Stephen Bali said.

“The concept is an innovative approach to capturing nutrients and sediment from stormwater runoff,” said Mayor Bali. 

“Because it floats, it rises and falls with floodwaters and is therefore more effective than traditional fixed wetlands or mechanical filters, which have to be constantly cleaned.”

It’s the first of its type in a Blacktown City park and can be seen from a viewing platform off Lancelot Street, Prospect.

The FTW aims to improve water quality by removing pollutants such as heavy metals and nutrients, Mayor Bali said.

“The treated stormwater water then flows from the creek to the river system, as better quality water thanks to the FTW treatment,” he said.  

Council’s Bushland Officer, Katrina Brown, said the FTW has an area of 100 square metres and contains 1,520 locally grown wetland plants.

“FTWs use plants growing on a mat floating on the surface of the water rather than planted directly in the ground,” she said.

“Plant roots hang beneath a floating mat and provide a large surface area for growth, which is an important part of the water treatment process.

“These systems can tolerate typical water depth fluctuations without the risk of the plants becoming flooded and stressed.”

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