Award-Winning Bio-Filtration Wetlands Improve Water Quality for City of Aliso Viejo

The City of Aliso Viejo’s (City’s) Dairy Fork wetland and habitat restoration project uses bio-filtration wetlands to naturally treat urban runoff from about 1,500 acres of mixed residential and commercial areas within South Orange County.

Bio-Filtration Wetlands Best Practices

Bio-filtration wetlands are the accepted best management practice for treating stormwater and urban runoff before it reaches creeks, streams, and other bodies of water. Unlike traditional stormwater detention basins that only store stormwater and manage peak flows, bio-filtration wetlands allow for extended pooling or detention time within the wetland. This enables sediments with pollutants to settle out, and allows the plants and microorganisms within the wetland to take up the nutrients and biodegrade various pollutants.

The project involved creating two large ponds and planting native, ecosystem-friendly plants to capture urban runoff from Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, and Laguna Woods before the runoff reaches Aliso Creek. The captured water sits in pools where “bio-filtration” from surrounding plant life and prolonged exposure to the sun will take place, killing up to 99% of bacteria found in the urban runoff.

Read more on Dudek’s blog.