living machines

permed at permed at
Sat Dec 15 17:58:54 EST 2001

> Even here in conservative Midwest US
>there is increasing interest in these alternative to septic systems. I 
>have received
>two calls in past two weeks from folks wanting to look into these 
>alternatives. The
>biggest hurdle is local Health Dept. are very nervous about approving these.

What it takes is one successful project to be well monitored and 
regularly tested to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system to Health 

The reedbed/wetland greywater treatment system I installed here at 
Djanbung Gardens 1994 was the first domestic system in NSW. Through the 
local university I found a post-grad student to take it on as a research 
project with regular testing etc The results were passed on to local 
Council and the Health Dept. I received a state Rivercare 2000 Award for 
the system & composting toilet (the excess urine from the compost loo 
goes into the reedbed as well as grey water). In 1997 I installed the 
state's first domestic reedbed treatment system for septic effluent for 
the flush toilet and comercial kitchen in the education centre here.

In the meantime the health department has become quite supportive of 
constructed wetland treatment systems, especially for wastewater 
containing greywater as it's the only treatment that effectively takes 
care of the salts (sodium) in soaps and detergents which will otherwise 
eventually cause salting problems in the soil through 
evaporation/transpiration beds. 

Robyn Francis

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