The Lake Hancock Outfall Wetland project is part of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) strategy for meeting minimum flows in the upper Peace River, improving water quality, and protecting Charlotte Harbor. The project site is located adjacent to and south of Lake Hancock in Bartow, Polk County, Florida.
The project is a large-scale, flow-through, wetland creation to improve the quality of water that discharges from Lake Hancock to Saddle Creek. The finished project will consist of a 1,008-acre treatment wetland located on former reclaimed phosphate mine clay settling areas now owned by the SWFWMD. Water will be pumped from the southern shore of the lake through three wetland cells. The cells will incorporate narrow planting strips separated by larger natural recruitment zones. The treated water will discharge from the Cell 3 wetland outfall structure into Lower Saddle Creek, which is downstream of the lake outfall structure. The project includes construction of an inlet pump station, instrumentation, controls, water control structures, earthwork, embankment, slurry cut-off wall, channels, aeration structure, and access road.