The wetland is designed to mimic a natural wetland. All plant species propagated and planted on site are indigenous. A variety of indigenous fauna call Laratinga home including migratory birds, amphibians and reptiles. The Wetland contains two bird islands to protect birds and their young from predators such as cats. These islands are planted to provide ideal habitat for birds.
A unique feature of the wetland is the capability to manipulate water levels in basins individually, so that managers can create an artificial flood or drought, which is fundamentally important for triggering reproduction in many species of native flora and fauna. It is also believed that manipulating flows through wetlands discourages pest plants and animals which thrive in stable water conditions.
Each basin is designed to dry to small pools, and edge slopes provide ideal habitat for many species of aquatic plants.
As well as providing ideal habitat for many species of native plants and animals, the wetland further reduces nutrients including phosphorus and nitrates from the treated effluent water. With the diversion of the high volume of treated effluent water through the wetland instead of straight into the Mt Barker Creek, the creek has returned to its natural ephemeral state of flowing in winter and drying to pools in summer.