Feb 212011
different types of constructed wetlands

Image via Wikipedia

A new office building for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is going to be home to a whole raft of green building technologies that are becoming pretty familiar, along with something a little unexpected: a beautifully disguised “green” sewage treatment plant right plunk in the middle of the lobby.

Talk about hiding in plain sight! The installation, designed by the company Worrell Water Technologies, is integrated into the lobby design as well as exterior landscaping.

Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment

The installation is basically a constructed wetland, which is a wastewater treatment system that breaks down pollutants with plants and naturally occurring  biological processes. The result isn’t necessarily potable quality, but it’s good enough for irrigation, maintenance, and other res-uses such as toilet flushing. Constructed wetlands save a significant amount of energy compared to conventional treatment, and they can be used as an energy-efficient way to clean up sites contaminated with industrial pollutants. Constructed wetlands have the characteristics of a natural wetland, so they also double as wildlife habitats.

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