|Wednesday What’s New: Biofilters for Wastewater|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Tuesday, 15 June 2010|
Horticulturists at Penn State have developed a space-efficient biofilter composed of plants and discarded materials that treats domestic wastewater so that it can be used to grow vegetables.
Robert D. Cameron, a doctoral student in horticulture who helped develop the biofilter says that more than 90% of the pollutants in the wastewater from a washing machine are removed within a period of three days, including suspended solids. There were also no detectable levels of e. coli in the treated wastewater.
The water treatment system consists of two seven-foot long plastic corrugated pipes a foot in diameter. The researchers placed these pipes upright three feet apart in a basin containing a foot of potting soil and crushed limestone. The basin is planted with papyrus and horsetail reed and the filtration works much like a wetland does, cleaning the water as it passes through the basin. The culvert pipes are filled with alternating layers of porous rocks, composted cow manure, peat moss, tire crumbs, potting soil and crushed limestone.
Articles source: Roots Meshed in Waste Materials Could Clean Dirty Water
Photo source: Center for Sustainability at Penn State