£   - Jr i^
.       »•

                                       Working together
                                      for water quality,
                                        wildlife habitat,
                                         education and
                                     passive recreation.
      At the south edge of Hillsboro,
      Oregon, lies the damp, tranquil
      sanctuary of the Jackson Bottom
Wetlands Preserve. Nearly 650 acres of
low-lying floodplain on the edge of the
Tualatin River, about 80 percent of the
area is classified as wetlands.
  Early mapmakers dismissed the
damp bottomlands as a "mirey swamp"
suitable only for dredging, draining, and
farming. Over the years, agricultural
and sewage disposal practices created
a highly degraded landscape of limited
value for wildlife use, dominated by
introduced grasses.
  Since 1979, the Jackson Bottom
Steering Committee has been working
together on an innovative project aimed
at changing those conditions and
transforming this "mirey swamp" into a
wildlife and water quality "living labora-
tory." The Steering Committee, made
up of a unique alliance of economic
  The Jackson Bottom Steering Committee
     City of Hillsboro
     Unified Sewerage Agency (USA)
     Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
     Greater Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce
     Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District
     Portland Audubon Society
     Friends of Jackson Bottom
     Oregon Graduate Institute
     Washington County Education Service District
     The Wetlands Conservancy
     Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
     Pacific University
     U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

interests, environmental groups and
public agencies, spent the first 10 years
on efforts directed primarily toward
improving the area's wildlife habitat
and passive recreation values.
  In 1989, the coalition broadened
its efforts and began investigating
the use of natural and constructed
wetland systems for water quality
management as part of the Unified
Sewerage Agency's effort to improve
water quality in the Tualatin River.
  At the Jackson Bottom Wetlands,
the Steering Committee has a unique
opportunity to manage the wetland's
multiple goals. Jackson Bottom provides
a chance to increase the diversity of
resident and transient wildlife, improve
water quality, provide rich research and
educational experiences, offer passive
and non-consumptive forms of recrea-
tion, and attract tourists in an area of
rapidly expanding urban population.

      The 1989 Jackson Bottom Concept
      Master Plan clearly outlined the
      main goals of the Jackson
Bottom Wetlands Preserve.
Enhancement for Wildlife: Attract a
more diverse wildlife population by
expanding and restoring the preserve
to provide food and shelter to a variety
of birds and animals.
Water Quality Management: Develop
the Jackson Bottom Experimental
Wetland to investigate the feasibility of
using wetlands to  "polish" effluent from
a secondary wastewater treatment
plant for the removal of phosphorus
and nitrogen before discharging to the
water quality-limited Tualatin River.
Passive Recreation: Provide access to
areas of the wetland and the Tualatin
River for hiking, bird watching, angling
and other passive  natural resource-
associated activities.
Education and Research: Encourage
educational use through interpretive
signs and displays, development of
educational materials for schools and
groups, providing site tours and assist-
ing researchers with research projects.
Wetlands Water Source

  Historically, the damp landscape
of Jackson Bottom owes its source of
water to the regular flooding of the
Tualatin River. The flooding creates the
bottomland wetlands which make up
the majority of Jackson Bottom.
  Today, water from regular winter
flood is supplemented in the summer
by secondarily treated effluent from a
nearby Unified Sewerage Agency treat-
ment plant. This cleaned wastewater
helps to maintain the restored wildlife
habitat. In return, the wetlands  ,
filter the effluent before it's
returned to the river.
  Since 1979, enhancement
projects have created and
restored several types of
wetlands once typical
in the basin. The
additional wetland
types include deep
and shallow ponds,
wet meadows,
riparian wetlands and
fresh-water marshes.
Edging the east side are
also forested wetlands and
upland habitat.
Where the Water Goes

                                                                      Total: 57.1 Million Gallons

Putting the Polish on
Wetlands for Water
Quality Management

  Wetlands, ponds and lagoons have
long played a role in wastewater treat-
ment. In many areas, partially treated
wastewater is filtered through wetlands
for suspended solids (SS) and biochemi-
cal oxygen demand (BOD) removal.
  The Jackson Bottom Experimental
Wetland (JBEW) is taking this process
one step further. Using secondarily
treated effluent from the Unified
Sewerage Agency's (USA) Hillsboro
Wastewater Treatment Plant, USA's
researchers are investigating the use of
wetlands to "polish" the wastewater for
removal of phosphorus and nitrogen.
These nutrients are abundant in the
effluent of conventional secondary
treatment plants. This experimental
program is part of USA"s comprehen-
sive effort to reduce loads of phospho-
rus and nitrogen entering the water
quality-limited Tualatin River.
  BuUt in the summer of 1988 with
operation beginning in 1989, the JBEW
occupies about 15 acres on the eastern
edge of the Jackson Bottom Wetlands
Preserve. The Experimental Wetland is
actually a series of 17 parallel cells, each
built to contain effluent for varying
amounts of time, with different soil
types and different vegetation patterns.
Since July 1989, testing has been
conducted to measure the success rates
of the soils and vegetation to "polish"
the effluent.
        Jackson Bottom Experimental Welland
            Design and Operational Criteria
Celf Design Criteria; 15.6 Acre Wetland (17 Parallel Cells)
Cell                  Size, Capacity             Total
Width	18.3 to 22.4 ft.
Length	1250 to 1280 ft.
Depth	 46 percent at 1 ft.
                     54 percent at 3 ft.
Surface Area.		22,000 to 30,600 sq. ft	430,600 sq. ft
                     0.5 to 0.7 acres	.. 9.9 acres
Water Level	 0.5 to 2.75 ft.
Volume 	254,000 to 427,000 gal	4.8 mil gal.
Introduced	Cattail (Typha latifolia)
  Vegetation	Sago pondweed
                       (Potamogeton pectinatus)
  Cove Series	5.4 acres
  Wapato silty loam	 6.2 acres
;: IabJsh;mucky clay .....,. 3.4 acres
             JBEW Operational Parameters
                            1989         1990
Operational Period . . .
Loading Rate
Average Flow/cell —
Detention Time 	
Mass Loading Rates
Phosphorus. .......


. . cm/d
, . days

, . kg/ha/da
. . kg/ha/da
. . July 25
- Oct17

June 25-

June 19-

       JBEW Outflow Data, Three Year Average
                                     Influent       Effluent
 Biochemical Oxygen Demand (mg/L)	5.1	3.0
 Chemical Oxygen Demand (mg/L)	42	47
 Alkalinity (mg/L)	86	126
 Total Solids (mg/L)	 312	326
 Total Dissolved Solids (mg/L)	304	316
 Total Suspended Solids (mg/L)	7.7	9.6
 Ammonia-N (mg/L)	8.4	3.0
 Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen-N (mg/L)	11.9	4.8
 Nitrate/Nitrite-N (mg/L)	7.3	0.5
 Total Phosphorus-P (mg/L)	6.3	3.8
 Soluble Ortho Phosphorus-N (mg/L)	5.0	3.0
 Chloride (mg/L)	:	59	66
 Enterococcus (#/100 ml)	3	75
 Chlorophyll a (ug/L)	0.9	28.7
             Groundwater Monitoring Data
                 Shallow Wells Within JBEW
                 Drinking Water Std
 Nitrite/Nitrate (mg/L)	10	.0.39      0.04     0.02
•Chloride (mg/L)...	250	102       63       49
 pH	..6.0-9.0	7.2       6.4      6.6

JBEW Phosphorus Concentration
                      JBEW Phosphorus Load
   8.0 r








  After three years of testing and
extended research on JBEW, interesting
results have surfaced. The Experimental
Wetland is improving the quality of the
effluent—it is lower in both phosphorus
and nitrogen when it leaves the cells.
Research has shown, although plants
serve important functions in the
filtering, the soils have proved to be
the main elements in binding up the
phosphorus, thereby preventing it from
reaching the nearby Tualatin River.
  Water quality is the focus of the
JBEW, but education and wildlife have
also benefited from this innovative
                        4000 r








                      project. The construction of the
                      wetlands has provided food, nesting
                      and rich habitat for many wetland
                      species. The Experimental Wetland
                      has also provided valuable educational
                      opportunities for teachers, students
                      and researchers from schools and
                      universities throughout the region.
                        As research continues to determine
                      how to best meet the state's water
                      quality standards, the Jackson Bottom
                      Wetlands Preserve serves as a model
                      for improving water quality and
                      managing multiple goals.

The Dynamics of a
Real-World Experiment
  Gathering data from a dynamic, real-
world experiment presents challenges.
Variables that can easily be controlled
in a lab, may be unpredictable in a
dynamic process.
  JBEW researchers have worked to
carefully control the variables within
their reach, yet remain flexible enough
to adjust for changes in a dynamic
system. Among the impacts that have
affected the JBEW are:

•  Non-native vegetation. Planted
   vegetation (cattails, sago pondweed)
   struggled to compete with the non-
   native plants (reed canary grass,
   Lemna, Azola) that dominate much
   of Jackson Bottom.
•  Phosphate detergent ban.
   In 1991, a region-wide phosphate
   detergent ban dramatically
   reduced the concentration of
   phosphorus in USA's effluent. As
   a result, the amount of phosphorus
   entering JBEW dropped as did
   the percent removal.
•  Plant operations. In 1991, the
   Hillsboro Treatment Plant was no
   longer able to operate in nitrification
   mode due to a 25 percent increase
   in service area. This resulted in
   higher ammonia and lower nitrate
   effluent entering JBEW.
Enhancement for Wildlife

   Jackson Bottom is part of a larger
Tualatin River wildlife/wetland corri-
dor. This rich corridor provides essen-
tial stop-over feeding and resting spots
for migrating waterfowl traveling the
Pacific Flyway. It is also an important
habitat for other species of wildlife.
Much of this habitat has been lost
to agriculture and development. But
with projects like the Jackson Bottom
Wetlands Preserve, crucial links in
this increasingly fragmented ecosystem
are being reconnected, enhanced
and protected.
   Though degraded by past human
practices, Jackson Bottom is coming
alive with a newly developed diversity
thanks to the  dedicated efforts of
Oregon Department of Fish and
Wildlife, the Friends of Jackson
Bottom, Ducks Unlimited and other
groups. What was once a flat meadow
of exotic reed canary grass, with little
feeding or nesting opportunities for
native species of wildlife, is now being
transformed into a complex patchwork
of wetlands and upland habitat. The
wildlife ponds and marshes created
using recycled wastewater are bordered
by cattails, reeds and rushes, native
willows, dogwood, ash and elderberry.
This increased diversity of plants
provides food and shelter for migratory
waterfowl, shorebirds and other
wetland wildlife. Resident populations
now include Canada geese, many
species of ducks, rails, herons, osprey,
bald eagles, nesting red tailed hawks,
harriers, and several owl species. Larger

mammals include rare sightings of deer,
elk, mink, beaver, coyote and fox.
  Until the habitat has sufficiently
recovered, nesting sites are supple-
mented with floating goose platforms
and boxes for swallows, bats, wood
ducks and kestrels. The enhancement
projects offer the opportunity to
become involved with wildlife agencies
and provide rich habitat for wildlife.

Education, Research and
Passive Recreation
  From early morning walks in the thick
morning fog to sophisticated research by
soil scientists, there are many opportuni-
ties to enjoy and learn from this natural
resource without harming it.
  Research, education and passive
recreation activities are a major compo-
nent of the 1989 Jackson Bottom
Concept Master Plan. Research efforts
conducted by the Unified Sewerage
Agency, the Oregon Graduate Institute
and other regional colleges and univer-
sities are providing answers and posing
new questions about ecosystems and
their role in water quality management.
  Education is a top priority, too.
Spearheaded by the Wetland Coordina-
tor and Friends of Jackson Bottom,
students and teachers are learning
about this astonishing natural system
through tours and field work. The
Friends group has developed wetlands
curriculum and sponsors a variety of
events year-round. In 1992, a state grant
enabled Jackson Bottom to hire a part-
time Wetlands Educator to coordinate a
pilot educational program.
  Trails, viewsites and viewing
shelters offer visitors a glimpse
into the workings of this rich
ecosystem. The Kingfisher Marsh
Interpretive Trail, designed and
built by the Friends group, offers
visitors a mile long walk through
wetland and upland habitat along
the rarely seen Tualatin River. Future
plans call for more trails and improved
river access.
  For information on the
Jackson Bottom Wetlands
Preserve and the Jackson
Bottom Experimental
Wetlands, please contact:
Jackson Bottom
Wetlands Coordinator
123West Main Street
Hillsboro, OR 97123
(503) 681-6206

Unified Sewerage Agency
155 North First Street
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 648-8621         ~

  This publication was funded by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Special thanks to the Unified Sewerage
Agency of Washington County, City
of Hillsboro and Linda Newberry for
their contributions.
  Nest photo on page 156 and family
photo on page 161 courtesy of Friends
of Jackson Bottom. The salamander
photo on page 157 courtesy of Audubon
Society of Portland, Oregon.