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How do wetlands affect water quality?

Wetlands are direct connections between rivers and the cooler groundwater.  The wetlands absorb water which may become part of the groundwater.  During floods, they can absorb excess floodwater.  Wetlands are also a filter for pathogens, metals, and pollutants.  Wetlands delay hazardous chemicals and contaminants from entering the main river all at once.  Because of this, wetlands serve to dilute toxic chemicals and allow the slow release of these chemicals into the main water supply.

In addition, wetlands increase the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water by filtering out bacteria.  Remember that some bacteria consume oxygen.  Therefore, water with fewer bacteria will tend to have more dissolved oxygen.

Wetlands = natural water filters

For more detailed information on wetlands, click here.
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