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using plants to decontaminate/reclaim graywater

Posted by passiflorakae MA (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 2, 03 at 15:08

If I remember correctly, somewhere on Cape Cod there used to be a solar-powered demo house that had an outdoor system of water purification tanks that used plants, fish and whatever to clean the water... and perhaps it had a secondary use. I remember visiting this place as a kid, and would like to know if it still exists, or was it a late '70's energy-crisis oasis that vanished?

Sorry to sound so vague, i haven't had much luck finding info on it, so I can only offer my vague memories...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: using plants to decontaminate/reclaim graywater

Hmmm - can't find any info about a house near Cape Cod; but in the book "Gaia's Garden" by Toby Hemenway, the chapter on "Catching, Conserving, and Using Water" has some information about a home/office north of San Fransico that uses a marsh and series of small ponds to reclaim grey water and contain rainwater as well. They have a list of plants that are suggested for bog gardens; e-mail me if you'd like a copy.

RE: using plants to decontaminate/reclaim graywater

That sort of sounds like the Solviva house (, I think), but its on either Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard (don't remember which). It's for sale now, I think.

RE: using plants to decontaminate/reclaim graywater

There is a progressive cheese manufacturer that uses this method on their wastewater.

Good luck!

RE: WI cheese co.


Here's a link to the co. that created that system for 'em.....

Here is a link that might be useful: Living Technologies

RE: using plants to decontaminate/reclaim graywater

What a wonderful world we would live in if all manufacturers looked for solutions such as this!!!

RE: using plants to decontaminate/reclaim graywater

I think you're looking for the now-defunct New Alchemy Institute in Falmouth. I spent some time there in 1985, took an integrated aquaculture course in the spring, interned in the summer and took apermaculture design course in the fall-during hurricane Gloria! John Todd was one of the founders of NAI and is the founder of Living Technologies. His Living Machines are cleaning up a lot of dirty water.


Here is a link that might be useful: new alchemy/greencenter

RE: using plants to decontaminate/reclaim graywater

They do that with the sewage on the island of Bonaire. They dump it into a little dammed off valley and let stuff come grow in it. Place has become a magnet for birds who come for the critters who come for the sewage. Doesn't work for heavy metals, but is great for run of the mill sewage.

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