The name, Wakodahatchee, has an interesting history. It is derived from the Seminole Indian Language and translates as "created waters." The created waters at Wakodahatchee Wetlands are an example of people giving something back to nature. Fifty acres of unused utilities land have been transformed into a wetlands ecosystem.

Every day, the Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department's Southern Region Water Reclaimation Facility pumps approximately two million gallons of highly treated water into the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. By acting as a natural filter for the nutrients that remain, the wetlands work to further clense the water.

Traditional methods for disposal of treated wastewater have included deep injection wells or ocean outfalls. More recent emphasis has been placed on highly treating and reclaiming wastewater. The Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department is a pioneer in the fields of wastewater treatment and reclaimed water distribution for irrigation purposes. The Wakodahatchee Wetlands are yet another example of the Department's innovative and forward-thinking management philosophies.

The Wakodahatchee Wetlands have attracted an abundant variety of wildlife including turtles, frogs, alligators and birds. More than 140 different species of birds have been spotted at the site. These species thrive in the various wetland zones found at Wakodahatchee Wetlands. The zones were designed for a mixture of habitat types:

  • Open pond water areas to attract waterfowl and diving birds
  • Emergent marsh areas for rails, moorhens, and sparrows
  • Shallow shelves for herons and egrets
  • Islands with shrubs and snags to serve as roosting, nesting, and basking sites
  • Forested wetland areas for long-term habitat development

A three-quarter mile boardwalk winds through three of the wetland's ponds, allowing visitors the opportunity to read interpretive signs and learn about water purification, wetlands ecology, natural history, and the interdependance of people and their environment.

Wetlands provide us with a variety of important environmental functions. They:

  • Provide food and habitat for many important wildlife species, including many of Florida's threatened and endangered species
  • Detain stormwaters, protecting downstream areas from flooding.
  • Provide a high level of plant productivity, the basis of life for all animals.
  • Naturally purify waters containing nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous without using fossil-fuel-based energies or producing sludge

(Text transcribed from 2000 Wakodahatchee Wetlands Park Brochure)

            
PBCWUD   This site is run with the approval and support of the Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department.
All contents Copyright © 2006 Andrew Gobien unless noted otherwise