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BACKGROUND/HISTORY
     The City of Show Low built its
     first wastewater collection and
     treatment system in 1958. It
consisted of sewer lines, serving the
original townsite and contiguously
built up areas of the city, and two
stabilization ponds for treatment.
Effluent was discharged directly into
Show Low Creek, adjacent to the treat-
ment plant, eventually reaching Fool
Hollow Lake. Nutrient loading resulted
 Treated municipal wastewater is being used in
  N.E. Arizona to create some very interesting
 wetlands. Wildlife response to this new habitat
    has been dramatic with over 120 species
    of birds using them. The local community
         is justly proud of this example of
  environmental innovation and cooperation.


in accelerated lake eutrophication,
algae blooms, and resulting fish kills.
  In 1970, with the cooperation of the
U.S. Forest Service, wastewater discharge
into the creek was halted. The effluent
was pumped two miles north to a
natural depression known as Telephone
Lake where it contributed to the
development of wildlife habitat. In 1977,
due to increasing population and result-
ing effluent flows, the treatment system
                                  Pintail Lake in winter.
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                                       TREATMENT FACILITY
was expanded to include additional
natural depressions to the East which'
became known as Pintail and South
Lake Marshes. In Pintail Lake the U.S.
Forest Service began to construct islands
to enhance waterfowl reproduction.
   By 1982 wastewater flows exceeded
the treatment plant's design capacity.
Discharges directly into Show Low
Creek  and decreased quality of effluent
delivered to the marsh treatment areas
resulted in degraded habitat quality
and sharply decreased waterfowl
populations. In 1985 the City began
to work on a long term solution to the
problems of treatment plant capacity
and providing high quality effluent to
the created wetlands.
   The  solution selected was to deepen
and improve the existing treatment
lagoons by adding aeration, increase
pumping capacity,  add stabilization
ponds for secondary treatment, increase
the capacity of Telephone Lake for efflu-
ent storage, and add additional marsh
capacity for final treatment and reuse.
      The City of Show Low wastewater
      treatment facility now consists
      of two aerated lagoons that may
be operated in series or parallel, a lift
station with two 1,150 gpm pumps, four
biological stabilization ponds that may
also be operated in series or parallel, a
chlorination contact chamber, effluent
storage and clarification in Telephone
Lake, nutrient removal in constructed
riparian areas, and eventual reuse in
constructed waterfowl marshlands.
Aerial view.


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SITE DESCRIPTION
      The created wetlands at Pintail
      Lake and Redhead Marsh are
      located 4 miles north of the City
of Show Low, Arizona. This is in the
high country of northeastern Arizona.
The wetlands are on National Forest
Service Lands administered by the
Apache/Sitgreaves National Forests.
   The climate has a dominant influence
on the functions of the created wetlands.
This area has four definite seasons.
Spring is very windy with gusts over
50 mph. This can cause severe bank
erosion if vegetation isn't established.
Net evaporation can exceed 12 inches
per month in May and June. Summer
is characterized by the onset of a
monsoon type pattern with frequent
showers and high night tune tempera-
tures. Fall is ushered in as the rainfall
diminishes and nights get colder. Winter
is marked by colder temperatures and
the wetlands freeze over. Ice may occur
 1 to 2 months of winter. Snow depths
 of 3 to 12 inches are common.
   The soils of this area are heavy clays
 with low water permeability. The natural
 vegetation is typical pinyon-juniper
 woodland. This is a very common
 vegetation type in this area. The topog-
 raphy is flat to moderately sloping with
 some natural basins which form Pintail
 and Telephone Lakes. The elevation
 above sea level is 6,350 to 6,380 ft.
  Evaporation from wetland surfaces
is a key factor affecting their functions.
Total evaporation exceeds precipitation
by 48 inches per year. The evaporative
loss is greatest during the months of
May and June which account for one
half of the year's total. During winter
months evaporation is near zero, so
ponds fill up and total storage capacity
becomes a concern.
Water control structure at
Redhead Marsh.
Weather Summary
Month
Jan
' Feb
Mar
Apr
^May
" Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Average
High Temp.
44.2F
48.3F
53.8F
63.9F
73.0F
82.8F
85.5F
82.9F
79.4F
68.5F
55.3F
45.6F
Average
Low Temp.
17.7F
21.0F
25.4F
32.1 F
38.5F
47.6F
55.5F
54.1 F
47.6F
35.7F
24.8F
18.9F
Historic
Record Low
-25F
-11F
-7F
11F
14F
27F
42F
37F
25F
10F
-9F
-16F
Average
Precip.
1 .40"
.96"
1.25"
.60"
.31"
.50"
2.47"
2.25"
1.22"
1 .46"
1.06"
1.87"

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DESIGN AND LAYOUT
      Since the construction of the first
      wetland at Pintail Lake in 1978,
      there has been a gradual evolu-
tion of the wetlands. In 1985 a major
expansion occurred with the construc-
tion of Redhead Marsh. This surge of
construction was required as effluent
volumes produced began exceeding
treatment and disposal capacities. The
present system is designed to handle
1.42 million gallons of wastewater per
day to serve a population of 13,500.
  The system was designed to integrate
several lakes and marshes into an
effective wetlands complex. Flexibility
in management options was built in to
accommodate changes from year to
                               year. The water delivery system was
                               designed to provide additional treat-
                               ment before the effluent reaches
                               Redhead Marsh.
                                       Size of Wetlands
                                 Telephone Lake . L...... 45 acres
                                 Pintail Lake.. ...  57 acres
                                 South Marsh	j	19 acres
                                 Redhead Marsh .I......49 acres
                                 Bullseye Marsh ,v........ 1 acre
                                 Ned Lake	.'...,... 15 acres
                                 Riparian Area.... l.....: 15 acres
                                          Total Acres = 201 acres
                            Legend
                                                   To Snowflake
                         -^Unpaved Access Road
                          =_Paved Access Road
                          - Sewerline
                 <  '< . < ' <'  Open Channel
                  	 APS Powerline
                 .......> Fence
                  (Redhead Marsh)
JB|r *.>*   (Redhead Ma




""**"*""	""^Iff
                    Riparian
                    Area
        1760    3520  5280
        1       F
         scale in feet
                                Ned Lake

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OPERATION AND MONITORING
      The main techniques used in
      operating the wetland complex
      involve the management of the
water. The quantity, quality, and
delivery routes are varied to manage the
wetland habitat. The flexibility designed
into the system allows a variety of
management options. For example,
water control structures with adjustable
water boards are used to hold water
levels at desired levels. Water can be
diverted away from some ponds to
allow them to dry up. This is desired to
allow for maintenance and to accomplish
vegetation management goals.
  Monitoring of the wetlands is
conducted in accordance with the
requirements of the Arizona Depart-
ment of Environmental Quality by
the City of Show Low. Additional
monitoring is conducted by the
Arizona Game and Fish Department
and the U.S. Forest Service.
  As water progresses through the
system, water quality improves. For
example, secondary effluent coming
from the polishing ponds flows into
Telephone Lake, then into an open
channel which delivers it to the riparian
area. After the riparian area, the water
flows into another open channel and
is finally delivered to pond one of the
Redhead Marsh. During this delivery
process the water quality greatly
improves. The following charts show
the removal rates for nitrogen and
phosphorus as water moves through
the system.
                                        54 _
   32-
   28.
   24-
E. 20-

g"
D)

I  16 J
$
   12-
    8-
    4-
   12-,
   10-
 D>
   8-
g. 6-
i2
   4-
   2-
                               Dec., Jan., Feb.
                               March, April, May

                               June, July, August

                               Sept., Oct., Nov.
       Influent
              Contact
               Basin
Telephone
  Lake
Redhead
 Marsh
                            Dec., Jan., Feb.

                           - March, April, May

                            June, July, August
                            Sept., Oct., Nov.
                                            Influent
              Contact Telephone Redhead
               Basin    Lake    Marsh

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 RESPONSE
       Pintail Lake and Redhead Marshes
       have exceeded the original
       objectives and expectations.
 What started out as a project to favor .
 waterfowl has developed into a complex
 of wetland ecosystems with a wide
 range of benefits. Similar projects in
 other areas have been developed as a
 result of the success here.

 Vegetation
   Experience has shown that the
 addition of water to these previously arid
 sites brings on dramatic vegetation
 changes. A prime objective has been the
 establishment of a vigorous vegetative
 cover. Cattail, water grass, spike rush,
 and various sedges have become estab-
 lished naturally in the created wetlands
 while others such as hardstem, softstem,
 and alkali bulrushes and sego pondweed
 have been successfully planted.

 Animal
   The response of animals to the new
 wetlands has been exciting. After 3 years
 of data collection on Pintail Lake,
 L. Piest (1981) stated: "The response
 of breeding waterfowl has been
 dramatic. I estimated that 1,544 duck-
lings or 76.4 ducklings per hectare
 (30.93 per acre), were produced in
 1981." The response of other birds has-
 been similar with the establishment of
 cormorant and black-crowned night
 heron rookeries in the new wetlands.
   To date ten bird species which  are
 classified as endangered, threatened,
 or sensitive have been seen using the
 wetlands. These include the bald eagle,
 peregrine falcon, osprey, northern
 goshawk, snowy egret, belted kingfisher,
 American avocet, sora rail, black-
 crowned night heron, and the double-
 crested cormorant. Four of these species
 (the avocet, sora rail, blackcrowned
 night heron, and cormorant) have been
 found nesting here. A survey done in
 1991 to document total bird use on a
 weekly basis found 120 different species
 of birds using the created wetlands.
 Some of the birds are predators, feeding
 on fathead minnows, & small fish that
 inhabits part of this wetland system.
 Other animals found in the wetlands
 include rocky mountain elk, mule deer,
 pronghorn, black bear, coyote, raccoon,
 and various kinds of amphibians.
   People are also attracted to these
 wetlands for a variety of reasons
 to relax and watch animals is probably
 the intent of most people. Facilities
 were provided to improve wildlife
 viewing at Pintail Lake. School groups
 often use these wetlands for environ-
 mental field trips. The concepts of
wastewater cleanup and recycling have
more meaning after experiencing the
created wetlands.
Shorebirds using
Telephone Lake.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
      Since the first wetland was built
      at Pintail Lake in 1978 to the
      present, the wetlands have been
a cooperative effort. The "core team,"
which started the project and continues
to make it successful today, include
the City of Show Low, the Arizona
Game and Fish Department, and the
U.S. Forest Service.
   Other groups have also played a
major role. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency has provided
guidance and funding for this innova-
tive wastewater treatment project. The
Arizona Department of Environmental
Quality is involved in the monitoring
and operational permitting process.
   The wetland project is also supported
by the local communities. This includes
the local schools with their field trips.
The White Mountain Chapter of the
Audubon Society with the field trips
and work projects.


REFERENCES
L. Piest, 1981. "Evaluation of Waterfowl
Habitat Improvements on the
Apache/Sitgreaves National Forests,
Arizona." USD A/Forest Service.
 119pp.
       Newly established cormorant rookery.

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