Green, green, green is the color of all the treatment wetlands (TWs) that I have designed, more than 100 up to now. I use a simple calculation spreadsheet, I start from some numbers that characterize the polluted wastewaters whether of human, animal or industrial and finally I get a number from that formulae. This number is the area of the TWs, a constructed wetland that is similar to a natural wetland that are the one you can find in a river bank, on a lake shore, in a river delta… somewhere in the wet area of the Earth.
The water quality improvements in natural wetlands had been observed by scientists and engineers for many years and this led to the development of TWs as an attempt to replicate the water quality with the target of water purification before final discharge. TWs are designed with modern engineering systems for 50 years.
Well I’m speaking about a green and sustainable way to clean up polluted waters! A way that originates from Mother Nature. There are not just traditional systems with a lot of pumps that functions all day long, there are not only expensive plants that use chemicals products to reduce pollutions, there are not only plants made with concrete walls and steel pipes. We can follow a natural and green solution, environmentally friendly, able to recreate a green area and working with simple materials. Most of the pollutants are organic, like Biological or Chemical Oxygen Demand, nitrogen or phosphorus. All of these are natural and can be reduced by natural systems.
TWs are made with local materials and low energy input. Are you in Alaska? You can use local gravel and pipes. Are you in Malaysia? You can use local gravel and pipes. Are you in some states of Brasil? You can find gravel and pipes there. Need any special parts? No! Need energy for its daily functioning? No! Need high education level to manage it? No! TWs are really simple to do and simple to manage and they are just green, a beautiful green with a lot of flowers inside!
To build up a TWs bed you have to excavate a basin 0,7 m deep, you need a waterproof plastic coating, you have to fill it with gravel or other porous materials and finally plant wetlands species. Then you have to realize the inlet and outlet pipe system to bring wastewaters in and collect the treated waters out of the system.
Also UNRWA (www.unrwa.org) an UN agency that operates in Near East is working to found a green school which has a treatment wetlands in the garden, and I’m proud to be part of this project in Gaza Strip as designer of the TWs!
Well, this is what I do. I imitatenature to improve the environment quality status that is daily threatened by us and by our actions, which cannot always be black or grey. This is green, I’m green, this can be a green economy, the process that I follow to design the treatment systems really derives from natural processes that occur in natural environments. Can someone tell me that it isn’t green? And this green technology can lead to a green economy environment where designers and workers build something green to treat our non-green waste for a better world.