SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A $23,000 project is testing the waters of Hayden Lake to see how effective man-made wetlands are at improving water quality.

The Spokesman Review reports Kootenai Environmental Alliance's executive director, Adrienne Cronebaugh, says the floating wetlands are part of the solution to Hayden Lake's phosphorous problems. The wetlands are made by Floating Island International of Montana and are actually designed for use in sewage treatment ponds.

They are made out of plastic membranes and planted with flowers, sedges and rushes that suck phosphorous and other nutrients out of the lake. Cronebaugh says Hayden is one of several lakes showing signs of nutrient problems. The wetland project could become a prototype for other lakes in the region if it is successful.