Sewage isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite topic, but if we are going to try and keep our planet in some sort of useable shape, we need to find ways to handle it better. The millions of people on the earth can make quite a lot of pollution so sustainable methods are needed.
The usual sewage system is one whereby you connect up to the government system and think about it no more, unless you have a piping problem that is. Sewage is not something many of us want to spend our time thinking about, yet getting to grips with it globally is very important for our health and that of the wildlife around us.
One clever sewage technique is the reed bed, also known as an artificial wetland systems. Reed bed systems are basically a reconstruction of freshwater wetland ecosystems that are used to treat wastewater. Septic tanks are often part and parcel of a reed bed system and there are three main types.
Horizontal Flow – wastewater is continually fed through an inlet
Vertical Flow – wastewater arrives in total and is allowed to drain out
Pond Systems – a series of shallow ponds are linked together
Most reed bed models require a bit of land space but are generally inexpensive to build. They work really well and are also very low maintenance. In addition they look quite nice and provide a habitat for wildlife, rather than taking it away as conventional systems do. How it works is that treated wastewater is passed through a series of levels beginning with soil and running down into rocks. Reeds grow from the top of the bed and actually use of the nitrates and other compounds in the sewage. The result is that they don’t run off and contaminate the land and water around.
Simple, cheap and effective. Reed beds are a great example of the out of the box thinking that will make all of our lives easier into the future.