Friday, January 30, 2015

Tapping nature to clean wastewater

In the WaterHub's 2,200-square-foot greenhouse, campus wasterwater is filtered and circulated among plant roots, where microbes naturally consume organic material.

By Kimber Williams, Emory Report

A new Emory facility, called the WaterHub, uses adaptive ecological technology to naturally break down organic matter in wastewater. The WaterHub is projected to help Emory reclaim some 300,000 gallons of campus wastewater daily, cutting potable water consumption as much as 35 percent and saving the university millions in water utility costs over a 20-year period, according to Matthew Early, vice president for Campus Services.

"Emory is a leader in sustainability," Early says. "With this facility, we’re taking a major step forward in becoming one of the first in the nation with this technology for cleaning our own wastewater."

Even as the facility was being constructed last semester, it was being put into service — Emory students used it for research by monitoring the changing microbiology of wastewater samples as the new project was ramping up.

Read more about the WaterHub.

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