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Floating Treatment Wetlands Installed at Lake Owassa

Thursday, September 29, 2022


Using funding from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, the WRWMG was able to purchase 2 floating treatment wetlands for Lake Owassa. The floating treatment wetlands are planted with native flowers and shrubs and are designed to help purify the lake. Pollutant removal can be accomplished two ways: 1) Microbes living in the lake will inhabit the polyethylene islands and will directly ingest HAB-causing cyanobacteria and 2) Plant roots will grow through the islands over time and can help take up nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen from the lake water. These dual strategies reduce the likelihood of harmful algal bloom (HAB) development.

Research conducted by Dr. Stephen Souza and others has shown that 250 square feet of floating wetlands can remove 10 lbs. of total phosphorus per year and that 1 lb. of TP has the potential to generate up to 1,100 lbs. of algal biomass. Therefore, the two floating wetland islands at Lake Owassa will be able to remove approximately 5 lbs. of phosphorus per year, thus reducing up to 5,500 lbs. of algal biomass from the lake.