A unique man-made wetlands system in Texas is adding 65,000 gallons of water to area drinking supplies, but in Illinois man-made wetlands are addressing water quality rather than quantity.
Bloomington has struggled with nitrates levels in its public drinking supply. So it turned to farmers, whose fertilizer-laden fields helped create the problem.
Rick Twait is superintendent of water purification. He and others decided to focus on the 72,000 acres of watersheds feeding Bloomington's existing reservoirs.
Working with The Nature Conservancy, the University of Illinois and others, wetlands of various sizes were placed in farming fields. In one instance a farmer received federal money to transform part of his land into a wetland.
The goal was to reduce nitrates by 50 percent. Researchers say the numbers are encouraging a decade later.