Water-Related News

Se7en Wetlands receives Community Water Champion Award from WaterUse Association

LAKELAND – Se7en Wetlands recently received the 2022 Community Water Champion Award at the 37th Annual WateReuse Symposium. This national award recognizes the accomplishments of utilities and local government entities that ensure safe, reliable, locally controlled water supply through the development of water recycling treatment facilities, infrastructure, and other reuse projects. Se7en Wetlands is operated by the City’s Water Department, but it also serves as a recreational amenity.

The City of Lakeland has been operating a constructed wetland for decades as a natural water quality treatment facility and in 2018, the City of Lakeland opened a portion Se7en Wetlands to the public as a recreation amenity. Since then, thousands of visitors walk the trails and enjoy the wildlife. There are two Wetland Loops that are both approximately three miles long. Visitors can hike the Blue Wetland Loop where 10 million gallons of treated influent enters the system each day or hike the Red Wetland Loop that includes a boardwalk stroll over a shallow lake.

Bill Anderson, Director of Lakeland Water Utilities said, “I am so proud of the Water Utility and Parks & Recreation staff that make Se7en Wetlands a reality. They certainly deserve this national recognition. The real winner is the water resource that belongs to all of us, and utilizing Se7en Wetlands for both the beneficial reuse of this limited resource and as a public recreational area is truly an asset to the Lakeland community.”

Se7en Wetlands receives the City’s treated wastewater, and the natural flow of the wetlands polishes the water before it is reused or sent to the Alafia River. The operation of Se7en Wetlands creates a unique opportunity to increase awareness of the City’s water resources and valuable reuse systems while providing over 1,640 acres of protected wildlife habitat. To learn more about Se7en Wetlands and to view an interactive storyboard, please visit https://www.lakelandgov.net/se7enwetlands.