Tres Rios - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What are wetlands?

The constructed wetlands provide an exceptionally efficient cycle in the process of cleaning wastewater. In wetlands, natural, physical, chemical and biological mechanisms work together to remove and transform pollutants into harmless by-products. Nutrients and toxic compounds are physically removed or transformed by bacteria residing on the bottom of the ponds and on plant surfaces. Aquatic plants produce oxygen, which helps kill bacteria and pathogens.

Not only do wetlands purify water, they also provide a suitable habitat for waterfowl, mammals, amphibians and insects. This type of ecosystem is one of the most productive, natural purification processes on the planet.

Through the efforts of a dedicated group of scientists, researchers, government officials and private citizens, the Tres Rios Constructed Wetlands Demonstration Project is proving wetlands can effectively improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat.

2. Is the Tres Rios Wetlands open to the public?​

Currently the Tres Rios Wetlands is open to members of the public on a special request basis.  The portion of the wetlands in-river environmental restoration area, from 105th Avenue to El Mirage Road, on Arizona Game and Fish land, has been re-opened for access by the public for passive recreation. To make a special request for access to the constructed wetlands, please send us an email and we mail you a access permit.

3. Where can I learn more about wetlands?

There are numerous books and websites that discuss the topic of wetlands. To learn more, visit the list of books on wetlands.

4. Where can I learn more about the wildlife of wetlands?

Below is a list of websites about wildlife and related organizations.

Beavers - Wetlands and Wildlife

Southwest Biological Science Center 

Wild at Heart

Liberty Wildlife

Sonoran Audubon Society

Maricopa Audubon Society

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Arizona Game and Fish Department​