Ecomachines Use Plants and Animals for Low Impact Water Treatment (Video)


Image credit: John Todd Ecological

Dr John Todd's work creating living machines, or ecomachines, as a form of natural water treatment has long been of interest to TreeHugger. Back in 2005 Collin interviewed Dr Todd about his views on ecological design, and we celebrated when this pioneer of clean water won the Buckminster Fuller challenge award. But it's been a while since we've posted anything on Dr Todd or his work, so I was excited to find an update on how Ecomachines are being adopted across the country, as well as a great video explaining the principles. Coming via the inspiring Optimistic Futurist, Jonathan Kennedy writes about the development of ecomachines since John Todd first started his work back in 1981. Explaining that they are really just accelerated versions of the waste water treatment services provided by mature natural ecosystems like wetlands, Kennedy explains that Ecomachines offer numerous advantages over conventional sewage treatment plants, including:



  • Cost: Ecomachines reportedly cost half as much as traditional sewage treatment

  • Odor: They are odorless

  • Aesthetics: They create garden-like landscapes

  • Scalability: They can be built to size

  • Efficiency: They boast low operating costs

It's all pretty impressive stuff, and Kennedy includes a list of institutions and communities that have already installed Ecomachine waste water treatment facilities including rest stops, schools, collages and town treatment facilities.

Check out the video below for more information.


More on Waste Water Treatment and Ecomachines
The TH Interview: Dr John Todd
Dr John Todd Wins Buckminster Fuller Challenge Award
Shipping Containers Perfect for Emergency Waste Water Treatment
Gray Water: Safe, Legal and Permitted Waste Water Recycling

Tags: Animals | Bacteria | Biodiversity | Biology | Permaculture | Recycling | United States | Water Conservation