Operating since 2009, the East Fork Water Reuse Project is the largest man-made wetland in the U.S. and helps extend our existing water supplies.
Also known as the East Fork Raw Water Supply Project and the East Fork Wetlands Project, construction began on this 1,840-acre project in 2004 and was completed in 2009 at a cost of $280 million – a cost-effective alternative to building a new reservoir. The wetlands essentially act as a large-scale recycling project, diverting treated wastewater (effluent) flows from the East Fork of the Trinity River and filtering it naturally before it is returned to blend with other water supplies for future treatment and use.
The aquatic plants and sunlight are very effective as they naturally filter the water, removing sediment, heavy metals and other pollutants. This natural process removes about 95 percent of sediment, 80 percent of nitrogen and 65 percent of phosphorus.
After being cleansed by the wetlands, the water is pumped through a 42-mile pipeline back to Lavon Lake, where it is blended and stored until it is sent to the Wylie Water Treatment Plant for treatment as drinking water. From there, it is distributed to homes and businesses across 10 North Texas counties.
John Bunker Sands Wetland Center
In the center of the wetlands sits the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, which provides education and research opportunities pertaining to water conservation, wetland systems and wildlife management. It is open to the public, and offers walks, nature events and tours.