3.1.2 Living Machines
Treat waste water without the use of toxic chemicals while providing an aesthetically pleasing vegetated space.
A tank-based biological wastewater treatment system that uses microbial species such as bacteria and algae, plants, and animals such as snails, clams and fish to treat wastewater. Also called Eco-Machines and AEES (Advanced Ecologically Engineered Systems). Living Machines can be used on multiple scales from on-site wastewater treatment for an individual building through municipal wastewater treatment. Installations in commercial buildings are often located in lobbies and double as indoor gardens and water features.
Wastewater is routed to a closed anaerobic settling tank as a pre-treatment to separate out solids. It then flows through biofilters made from bark and other plant materials that filter the water and reduce odors. Next, the water flows through a series of aerobic tanks with a variety of bacteria, algae and plant materials that further filter the water. Plant species are chosen based on specific pollutants expected and their concentrations. Finally, the water flows through tanks that use gravel and wetland plants to finish the filtration process. The water can then be reused for toilet flushing and irrigation.
Living machine systems reduce costs for everyday water-use, sewage hook-up fees, sewer discharge fees, and water transport costs for inland areas. The cost of these eco-systems remain high due to the precise construction and intensive maintenance and operation required.
Reduce demand on sewage infrastructure. Reduce potable water demand when combined with a greywater system. Provide an aesthetically pleasing wastewater treatment system. Living Machines can filter colloidal materials with clams and heavy metals with plants such as water hyacinth, both of which are difficult to filter with conventional systems.
Living machines prefer warm climates. However, greenhouses or indoor locations can be used in temperate and cold climates to maximize biological processes. Large footprints may be required and a diverse mixture of plant species is needed to assure adaptability and resiliency of the system. Additional maintenance may be required if animals such as fish are used.
1.2.7 Sky Gardens
.1.2 Greywater and Water Recycling
2.2.1 Water Efficient Appliances
3.2.1 Solid Waste Treatment