Pruned: The Wetland Machines of Ayala
… This is where Ayala Water and Ecology comes in.
The Israel-based company specializes in designing artificial wetlands to treat contaminated water from agriculture, industries and urban areas so that it could be reused again. The recycled water may not be potable but at least the effluent doesn’t immediately get dumped and then pollute already dwindling supplies to the extent that untreated runoff would degrade them.
We have described the principle of these eco-machines in numerous posts, but to repeat, they take advantage of the ability of certain water plants not only to extract pollutants from the soil and water but also to render them inert. With the help of microorganisms, such as microbes, bacteria and fungi, they can take in toxins, heavy metals, greasy substances and pathogen agents. They can even phytoaccumulate and phytoremediate, to use the technical terms, substances that more technologically advanced systems cannot.
Of course, no single species can neutralize all contaminants. There isn’t even a master matrix of plants and microorganism that works in every scenario. The trick is in finding the right combination of biology, hydrology and chemistry that, in a sustainable manner, most efficiently removes the target pollutant and yields the purity level of the greywater one is aiming for.