During the week of July 10, the City of Piqua’s Utilities Department have released two floating wetlands into the canal and Franz pond. The project will test whether floating wetlands might be a good tool to improve water quality by reducing nutrients and sediment. Each wetland is artificially made using water filter material and floatation foam and is anchored down. Summer interns Colton Bachman and Dylan Long built the two wetlands to have an approximate area of 36 square feet each and planted them with native wetland plants.
As the City deploys these wetlands, the surrounding water will be monitored to see if the nutrient and sediment levels decrease. If the test wetland project is successful, then the City will consider using larger wetlands as part of their strategy to safeguard the City’s high quality drinking water supply.
Sky Schelle, the City’s Water Quality Coordinator, states, “Wetlands act as filters. As water pass through the plants, the nutrients and sediment are captured by the plants which in return release oxygen that improves water quality and aquatic life. These test projects aren’t going to change water quality, but we hope they help us understand if a larger investment in this technology might.”
The floating wetlands, which cost less than $1,000, will be placed in Franz Pond along the bike trail and in the canal, just north of the Fountain Park baseball diamond. The wetlands’ placement was chosen with fishers and boaters in mind.
According to Schelle, “We need access to the sites for easy sampling, but we also didn’t want to place them where they’d be in the way of boats or the general public. I think we found spots that serve both purposes, but do ask that the public leave the wetlands alone so we have the best chance possible of collecting good data.”
For more information, contact Piqua Water Quality Coordinator, Sky Schelle at 937-778-2059 or