WATERPURIFICATION: HOW DO WE DO IT?
By letting nature do its work. And to help nature by making all processes streamlined. And that is of course quite special; nature doing all the work. A Constructed Wetland lasts some 25 years and chemicals will never have to be added.
Never adding chemicals and also hardly any electricity, except for the one time, short-term movement of the water. This makes the Constructed Wetland not only one of the best conceivable water treatment plants, it is certainly one of the most energy-efficient systems on the market. In fact, the system basicly runs on solar energy, because nature does the purifying work.
Often there are a number of settling sumps before the water enters the filtersystem, such as a septic tank and / or a grease separator. Here the insoluble and solid parts are left behind, such as soap and grease residues or feces and toilet paper. The nice thing is that even here the work is done by bacteria, they eat almost everything. That is why it can take up to 5 to 7 years before such a septic tank needs to be emptied.
(for really busy systems such as offices, conference venues, the frequency is higher and for their grease traps it even applies that they have to be emptied every six months … Business and domestic systems differ a bit in this area.)
From a sedimentation sump only the water, i.e. without the insoluble particles, is pumped into the reed bed. The ‘dirty’ water trickles through the filter in a day or three and is then clear and odorless again. The purified water is not drinking water, but the plants in the garden like to drink and discharging it on surface water is no longer a problem.
The Constructed Wetland was ‘invented’ about 65 years ago,
(although the oldest known system, described as a Constructed Wetland is from someone called Nemo, dating from 1904 and deals with a system in Hornsby, Australia … indeed: secret door material, there you can find the article …)
But mother nature has been doing it for billions of years, of course. A lot of scientific work has been done and the treatment systems have become ‘mature’. There may already be more than 100,000 worldwide and in the Netherlands there are at least 1,000 operational.
ECOFYT has now designed more than 550 constructed wetlands and has been involved in the construction of such systems on almost all continents. ECOFYT is also intensively involved in the scientific side. For seasoned specialists and up-and-coming talent, there is much more specific information to be found behind the secret door (hyper link invoegen) geheime deur.
WHAT IS ECOFYT SELLING, IF NATURE DOES ALL THE WORK?
This can be divided into many facets, but from the first analysis up to and including construction and maintenance, we can take care of it all. Chronologically it looks like this:
We make a thorough analysis of the situation. On the spot and in the office, but possibly also in the lab the water and soil are analyzed.
We determine the required capacity and with the analysis results the technical specifications of the filter are calculated.
We do not only calculate the design and installation costs, but also management and maintenance are meticulously mapped out if required.
We organize a multidisciplinary team and manage it if required. The training of people on the spot can also be part of the package of duties.
We build the filters ourselves from A to Z or do construction supervision on site or at a distance. Have you already looked at Oosterwold? (page FOR WHOM)
ECOFYT analyzes the data after the filter has been activated. Again on the spot, as
we carry out maintenance, but the modern filters can also be ‘read out’ remotely. For optimal results certain elements of the filter can be adjusted afterwards.
Management also includes maintenance of both the mechanical / electronic parts and the filter itself, with the vegetation.
7 MAKING AWARE
We publish our knowledge together with scientists from all over the world and share our findings with everyone in the industry, because the more well-functioning constructed wetlands there are, the happier we become.
We instruct the owner and/or his? her? staff for a good practical management of the filter and write a
fully tailored manual.
In addition, we also teach the theoretical side of the case to colleagues and students. We do this in Delft, Wageningen, but the people of ECOFYT are also (guest) teachers in France, Thailand, the Horn of Africa and in many other places.
On the ‘SECRET DOOR’ page we refer to several important titles regarding constructed wetlands but let us direct first to our
A constructed wetland is of course more expensive than just letting your water run away, into nature or into the sewer. But the construction is
much less capital and material intensive than a mechanical water purification plant, it hardly requires electricity or other additives. And the maintenance is extremely low. And from the environmental benefits the generations after us reap the benefits.
The answer to the question “What do I pay for a constructed wetland?” is as difficult as the question “What does a car cost?”
Without input we still would like to give an indication for the form a picture. So completely guess work. Very relevant: is everything outsourced to us or is there a lot done by the client himself? Is it in the Netherlands or for example in Bangladesh? We are going to assume in the Netherlands and concerning a private system for the purification of domestic waste water for an average family: these costs vary approximately between 12 and 20 K €. But for Do-It-Yourself people we have a fantastic offer! For a purification system of the rinsing water of a milking installation one must think about 15 to 30K €. Our biggest project to date was budgeted at more than 300 K € … But we also like to build that private filter.
12 BETTER WORLD
If you make money, you can also spend it. If you put a little aside for good
causes then the impact of what you are doing is much greater. There are those little steps that you can take. We love to send Christmas and New Year’s wishes, for example. But we do that digitally, by mail. We do our best to come up with a nice card, but the most important thing is the difference in costs: it concerns more than 1,000 cards, worldwide. We make an estimate of what the costs would have been for design, printing and postage and then deposit that amount into charity. These goals include, for example, WarChild and the MAX foundation. For the latter we have already helped to finance a few new water sources. Really, it can be done playfully …
ECOFYT is a member of: