So how does one in the 21st century minimise wastewater discharge in the CAFO, food processing and sewage treatment systems that are typically in rural areas of the US? Currently, in many areas, it is land applied in hopes that the natural microflora will consume the nutrient pollutants. But that is not always possible with the increasing intensity of rain that floods those rural fields.
Store it? Where? Ship it elsewhere? At what cost and compliance? Inject it into the aquifer? Really bad idea! Dump it into a wetland and let Mother Nature do what she does best? Try and convince the regulators, Conservation Districts, Watershed Alliance and other environmentalists of that one! What about an artificial man-made scalable wetland?
Let’s back up and explore this wetland concept a little. Briefly, wetlands are below the water table and the ground is saturated with water. The wetland acts as a filter to remove sediment and many contaminants. Water is slowly released from the wetlands to permanent bodies of water, rivers, lakes, and oceans. So, what is an artificial man-made wetland?
The Permacycler© (2) utilises natural bio-attenuation to digest nutrients, filter solids/sediment and remove heavy metals. It does this in a small footprint that is composed of three cells consisting of a weir-type waterfall that oxygenates the water which is then passed through a natural organic filter media that the micro-fauna attaches to and subsequently consumes the nutrients and filters out the sediment and heavy metals.
By the third cell treatment, the effluent can be within government regulatory levels. By adding a cover, the system runs anaerobically, thus preserving nitrogen while removing phosphorus. Depending on the load of the wastewater, multiple Permacyclers can be placed in series to obtain desired results. Processing water at up to 120 gpm with automated sludge flushing and solar panel capability allows this system to be placed in remote locations requiring limited labour.
Furthermore, capturing the sludge in a filter sock allows valuable organic matter to be recovered and applied to marginal areas to improve soil conditions. For more information, visit www.EcoIslandsllc.com or contact 1-814-937-9115.
2 Permacycler is copyrighted with Patents Pending