This project is sponsored by Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District, Youngs Creek Watershed Project, Johnson County Solid Waste Management District, Franklin Department of Public Works, and Johnson County Commissioners.  For more information, click here.

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This project involved the cooperation of Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Johnson County Park, the Johnson County Board of Commissioners, the Johnson County Health Department, and the Purdue Extension Service of Johnson County. Funding for the wetland was provided through a Clean Water Act Section 319 grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Why Construct a Wastewater Wetland?

A wastewater wetland demonstration site was constructed at Johnson County Park in Edinburgh, Indiana, in order to demonstrate a wastewater wetland so local planning officials, health department staff, and the public gain a better understanding and familiarity with an alternative sewage treatment system. As the constructed wetland proves successful, it will provide information to future communities on how this project might be used on a larger scale, possibly for housing or community developments that do not have adequate sewer service.

How Does it Work?

The wetland is connected to a public restroom facility on Johnson County Park property, near Lake Cottonwood. The sewage flows from the restroom to a holding tank, through the constructed wetland, and into a public sewer pipe. The constructed wetland houses special sedges and grasses that break down solid waste material and take up the nutrients in the waste. The grasses, in combination with different layers of stone and gravel, filter the liquid and water that flow from the holding tank through the wetland.

Two plastic tubs are located at north and south ends of the wetland planting area. These tubs allow for viewing and testing the liquid and water. The tub on the south end of the wetland closest to the holding tank allows visitors to view unfiltered waste. The tub at the north end of the wetland allows visitors to see the liquid and water after being filtered through the stone and plants. From the wetland, the remaining liquid and water flow into a sewer line located to the east of the wetland.

This project is designed slightly differently than normal wastewater wetlands. The main difference is the lack of an absorption field that allows water to filter through the soil after leaving the wetland. The reason for this difference of design is that public sewers are available at the park, the land nearby is not well suited for an absorption field, and the cost of installing an absorption field is high.

The Johnson County Park Department plans to use this site for school tours and demonstrations to help educate the public about this type of project. The public is welcome to visit the wetland anytime, but contact the Johnson County Park Office at (812)526-6809 to schedule a school group tour.