[permaculture] reed beds

George Anna Clark esac at laneta.apc.org
Sat Feb 9 15:24:30 EST 2008

Hi Christoph,

I lived at 1800 meters between Mexico City and Cuernavaca for about 12 
years and treated my grey water with a combination grease trap, reed bed 
and I guess my experience would tell me the answer to your question is 
"it depends"... we always had water left over, but the water didn't come 
out "pure" either. It was fine for watering the avocado tree and bamboo 
and whatever I was in the mood to water. Once it came out of the reed 
bed it was fed by a hose to the trees and I would often just leave it 
for weeks (the soil there is very porous - no clay whatsoever). It did 
not come out clean enough to store - got smelly very quickly.

I know a family who took their system out because they wanted enough 
water to fill up a small pond.

Mine had papyrus and something very similar - the roots would eventually 
clog up the filterbed and I'd have to dig some out  - a good excuse to 
give them away to others establishing theirs. I never messed with a 
greenhouse to reduce evaporation, would surely help. As I remember 
shade, however, is not appreciated by the reeds.

good luck,
george anna

Christoph Redwitz wrote:

>Does anybody have some experience with read bed purification in dry 
>areas? I'v read about it, that it is not practical there, because of the 
>high evapotranspiration loss of water. But on the other hand i heard of 
>many people that they use it. Do you get water back from that system? 
>And can you use the reed propperly?
>Are there more effectiv plants to use on that kind of pourification?
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