- Nutrients Removed: 50-75% from effluent
- Watershed: San Dieguito
- Wetland Capacity: 6,683m3
Great Ecology was part of an interdisciplinary team led by Fuscoe Engineering to tackle the challenge of treating surface water runoff from the Del Mar Fairgrounds to meet Regional Board discharge requirements. The full stormwater treatment facility includes backstretch conveyance infrastructure, lift stations, a settling (East) pond, a constructed wetlands system (West Pond), and a wastewater treatment facility. Great Ecology provided planting plans and oversight for the East Pond and designed the West Pond constructed treatment wetlands that will efficiently remove nutrients from effluent prior to it entering the wastewater treatment facility by promoting different nutrient cycling processes in an optimal sequence.
The design team understood that different removal processes are optimized in different types of constructed wetlands in a certain order. The constructed wetlands system therefore promotes phosphorus removal and one part of the nitrogen cycle in a vertical flow wetland, then continuation of the nitrogen cycle and nutrient uptake in soils and vegetation in a free-water surface wetland. Effluent can be reintroduced into the system to maximize nutrient removal to help meet regulatory limits. The system is estimated to remove between 50% and 75% of nutrients from effluent and will be run at a significant cost savings to the Fairgrounds compared to non-ecologically-based systems. The constructed wetlands system is also visually appealing, which is important given its prominent location on the Del Mar racetrack. Construction of the wetlands completed in 2020.
- 2020 Project Merit Award, Wetlands - Environmental Business Journal (EBJ)
- Project Merit Award, Outstanding Innovation in Green Planning & Design - Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP)
Utilizing Vertical & Horizontal Flow Wetlands
Designing a treatment wetland system that features both vertical and horizontal flow wetlands in an optimal sequence was an ideal design solution given the limited space within the Fairgrounds. Combined with proper maintenance and plant harvesting, this treatment wetland system removes 50% - 75% of nutrients from effluent.
Vertical Flow Wetland
Horizontal Flow Wetland
West Pond Before
East Pond Before
Del Mar, CA