A visit to a water treatment facility is not usually high on my bucket list but the Arcata Marsh is an exception.
It is actually only the last part of treatment that was of interest but when we looked at the exhibits in the visitor's center, I found the whole process to be of interest.
In 1979 the city of Arcata embarked on a project to take land that had been used for dumping, pasture and a logging deck and turn it into a marsh and wildlife sanctuary that would be the final stage in the water treatment process.
The plan worked so well that it is now a model for waste water treatment.
Once the waste water has worked its way through the treatment marshes and is dumped into Humbolt Bay it meets or exceeds the Federal clean water standards.
In the process it provides prime habitat for birds and other wildlife
We were there when the bird activity was at its lowest but we still saw quite a variety. The marsh is on the Pacific Flyway and looking at the bird list I can see that the best time to visit is during migration.
If you are interested in the waste water process, you can learn all you would ever want to know at their website.