Living Machine System Cleans Wastewater, Removes Strain on “Sewage Grid”


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Jim Fouts, the mayor of Warren, Michigan, a suburb just outside of Detroit, says that our aging water infrastructure is a “a ticking time bomb that’s ready to go off.” A report by the EPA cites that repairing and renovating public water systems will require $334.8 billion over two decades. And as lawmakers debate over banking reform or universal health care, it appears that our nation’s pressing water issues will not be addressed from a policy level.
Enter the Living Machine. Worrell Water Technologies’ Living Machine system works with existing building and municipal water infrastructures to clean wastewater for reuse. It utilizes planned wetlands, often times trees in the lobby of a building, using soil, bacteria, and “specially engineered films of beneficial microorganisms” to kill pathogens in the water.

Wired recently covered the Living Machine system (the tech mag also made the really cool infographic above), and according to the article: “Everybody likes trees, but (aesthetics aside) sending poop from the bathroom to the lobby may seem sort of icky. In environmental terms, though, it’s a solid choice.”
Just as solar PVs or wind turbines can help reduce a building’s dependance on the power grid, “living machines take strain off the pipes and municipal wastewater facilities on the ‘sewage grid,'” added the Wired article.
Since the Living Machine is intended to clean water for reuse on site, the company claims it can make a huge difference in water consumption. According to its website, 95% of a building’s consumption is due to toilet flushing and irrigation, areas where the Living Machine operates.
Several schools, animal shelters, as well as the Esalen Institute in Big Sur have already installed Living Machines at their campuses. A zoo in the Netherlands had water bills drop by 84% after installing the Living Machine.
You can check out a pretty neat (albeit completely promotional) video on the Living Machine in action here.

Ashwin is an Associate Editor of Triple Pundit. He recently returned to the Bay Area after living in Argentina, where he wholeheartedly missed the Pacific Ocean. He is a freelance editor and media and marketing consultant.After a brief stint working in the wine world, when not staring blankly at a computer screen, you'll find him working on Anand Confections or at 826 Valencia, where he has been a long-time volunteer.

One response

  1. By the end of the cycle of events squeezing the “American Dream,” advertisers propaganda, the average American will be willingly pooping in dry toilet systems (space station style?) and saving urine for its fertilizer and H2 potential, and drive battery cars! Sound far-fetched? GM is DEAD! goddammit DEAD! so is Chrysler! The cheap oil is gone or going to Asia with all the good jobs and America’s investment capital, flowing like a flooding river to the “Yuan” and the Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong stock markets! We in America are no longer a money making proposition! It will take time for the true “Crash” to totally materialize, we have had a taste of it with the great repuglican depression, and spent and loaned our way out of immediate pain, for now! Fact is: OPEC is not extending credit for oil to American customers, surprise! – they want cash! and they can get cash, in “Yuan” from Asia! We are no longer their “exclusive ” market for oil. we will soon be very short of money! Great, new, duplicates of our 18th century “Crapper” systems on grand scale and with the flourish American scale once expected in better times, an age gone by, are unlikely. We will see the use of disposal systems like this and as in Sweden, dry toilets and extensive Bio-gassing of sewage and offal, particularly effluents of “Factory Farms” into consumer gas, for local consumption, and a fertilizer product from the sludge, treated and irradiated for human safety, sold to gardeners and farmers to replace petroleum based fertilizers, priced off the practical markets by rising oil prices. The paradigm shifts we are about to be slammed through will reform our whole social system, and very quickly! Sewage treatment and a quick turn away from our current 18th century engineering based fiasco will certainly lead the way!

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