Native Hawaiian plants for water reclamation demo project?

JoshLawApril 2, 2013

Aloha.

I am new to the forum and could use some help with a project.

I am working to bring an advanced wastewater treatment system to the Hawaiian Islands. This system is ideal for residential and light commercial applications and far surpasses currently technology to deal with wastewater disposal. The water that comes out of the unit after it's treated by both anaerobic and aerobic bacteria is clear and odor free...basically water containing only our organic fertilizers. Attached to the unit is a pressurized subsurface irrigation system that can distribute the effluent directly back into the topsoil, ideally under a lawn or landscaping that would benefit from this nutrient-rich water. We'd love to see people plant native plants and irrigate them through the wastewater that is flushed down the toilets of their home. I am writing to see if anyone on the forum could help with a project we are setting up in order to share the benefits of this system with Hawaii government officials and legislators.

The test unit for certification (NSF) is at Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant. It will be up and running there for the next 9 months. I would like to build a raised bed system there being fed by the water from the unit, and use native Hawaiian plants as the vegetation in the beds. I would like to use all sorts of plants, and possibly even set up different soil types, to show the versatility of the system. Using native plants is a no-brainer, as we would like to see people use these plants in their landscaping over non-native plants for obvious reasons. Perhaps one day this unit could feed an aquaponics system (once proven and health and safety regulations become more current). This demonstration project would be the first step.

Is there anyone on the forum who has experience with this kind of set-up, and/or who could donate native plant seedlings to the cause? Anyone who has extra beds laying around that they need to get ride of? I am currently a high school environmental science teacher, and don't have an unlimited budged from which to create this demonstration project. I would greatly appreciate any help and advice you can offer. Looking forward to your replies. Thanks in advance.

Josh

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