Wetlands help maintain and improve the water
quality of our nation's streams, rivers, lakes
and estuaries. When erosion filled runoff passes
through wetlands, much of the sediment load
drops out. Because most of the sediment was
filtered out in the wetland, cleaner water will
flow into the water treatment plant, and result
in lower processing costs for consumers. Wetland
Plants also remove, or transform pollutants.
They can absorb tons of nitrates,
phosphates, and ammonia daily. And, in a process
called Photosynthesis, wetland plants add much
needed oxygen to both the water and the air.
Scientists have estimated that a 2,500 acre
wetland in Georgia saves that state at least $1
million in water pollution control costs,
Wetlands act as reservoirs for a watershed.
Storm water that has been stored in spongy
wetland soils is later released as needed, to
maintain relatively constant levels of surface
water and groundwater. In times of drought, this
wetland function is especially valuable, in that
it helps to maintain a continuous supply of
water for drinking, for farming, and businesses.
wetlands also supply water to underground water
bearing rock formations, called aquifers.
Protecting the wetland protects the aquifer.
Without constant replenishment of these
wells would run dry, and people would be forced
to shoulder the burden of paying for connections
to the public water systems.
level of available ground water can be seriously
depleted by draining and filling wetlands, and
can result in large taxpayer expenditures when
they have to turn to other sources for their