Grow away wastewater for challenging sites. Now available as a kit! Click here for information
Click here for animated diagram of the Ecocyclet.
A greenhouse-enclosed EcocyclET bed in Massachusetts
A zero-discharge wastewater system provides the ultimate protection of the environment. Water and nutrients are used to grow plants, providing the most cost-effective treatment alternative on a life-cycle basis.
The values of the plants can offset capital and operating expenses. The direct use of wastewater to grow valuable plants--for biofuels, bamboo flooring or landscapes--is the highest use ofthe nutrients, organics and water in what used to be called "wastewater."
On-site applications: Septic tank and soil absorption systems can only be used where soils can absorb and disperse the liquid fraction or "leachate." Where that's not possible, the EcocyclET planting bed provides a lined and planted leach field that uses up the effluent or leachate.
The technology: The patent-pending EcocyclET™ (ET stands for "evapo-transpiration") collects, stores, aerates and transfers leachate to a lined bed planted with valuable plants. The impervious bed liner ensures that no effluent can enter the subsurface environment or nearby receiving waters. All of the wastewater will ultimately be transpired as it is cycled through the system with the help of a recycle tank that stores and pumps itback to the bed when the conditions for evapotranspiration are optimal. (See this link for more information. Click here.)
Alternate uses: Under certain circumstances, such as start-up or during repairs, effluent that has not been transpired can either be returned to the recirculation tank or disinfected and transferred to a holding cistern to be used for non-potable purposes. In the latter manifestation, the reuse component avoids completely the need for a back-up disposal field. This was named the EcocyclET Wisconsin Reuse System because it is approved as a graywater-reuse product to be installed where soils are too poor to be considered for a soil absorption system.
Architecture: These systems can either be in sheltered or unsheltered environments, depending on the local weather conditions. Storage in subsurface tanks or constructed aquifers holds the greatest promise for on-site applications.
One application becoming popular in Scandinavia is to store the effluent during cold winter months and use it up during the growing season. Short-rotation willow species are used for this purpose as they are fast-growing, very thirsty and the harvested willows have economic value. Larger applications will resemble farms for production of biofuels.
EcocyclET provides the opportunity to transform wastewater into valuable plant species with no contamination of ground or surface waters. It is the new Green Paradigm© for pollution prevention and regenerative energy production.