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Weekend Watching: Integrated Duckweed Wastewater Treatment

This is a video if a waste water treatment facility in Bangladesh, its been in operation for 20 years. By using duckweed, a high protein single leaf water plant, to grow in a series of waste water ponds creates a solution for water treatment and food production. The duckweed is used as a food source for fish, the fish water is used for fertilization and irrigation of an adjoining agricultural operation.

The system works with nature organically without any added chemicals.


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Trux, the system is very

Trux, the system is very viable in countries with low regulation and cheap labor. I think the USA would have trouble implementing this bc of the huge bureaucracy that would be required. Not too different from utilizing cattle manure for fertilizer or methane production. Great technologies hampered by the government.

I do agree with your point

However I can't think of a greater motivator to get off unemployment and welfare than to have to work, wading chest deep in sewer water with a straw basket on your head collecting duck weed. LOL

There are two movements related to this technology

that I'm aware of. One is very similar and supports a home or small farm. The other one is a closed system that could fit in a 6 foot cube. Both will be hitting the market hopefully this year.

The 'home' one turns this system into the most efficient size for a single home's needs. It then incorporates various parts into a pond type garden landscape. In conjunction with a swimming pool, it then circulates water through stages to settle it, clean it, purify it and clarify it. Various fish, plants and algae all do their part. The result is then pumped uphill to the starting point via a wonderful solar thermal system that heats the water to a near boil. That mixes with more clean, cold water to supply a hot tub and/or slide/waterfall. From this altitude, it all fills the swimming pool which overflows back into the beginning pond stage. The whole thing takes about 2 1/2 times the space of one pool and looks like a pool with a fish pond in a garden.

Other people are working on ways to integrate a digester or gasifier into the system to extract electrical power. This part, however, would require the system to support multiple cows to create the waste needed.

The 'cube' system circulates water from a tank to the plants which clean it to a compost system and back to the fish tank. It is designed for a high output of store-supplied produce plus marine life such as shrimp, clams, tilapia, perch, trout and even the occasional lobster (if patience is abundant). It won't grow the tall plants like corn or wheat or the heavy fruits like melons but the rest (including the marine life and spices) can be grown 'at the rate the homeowner uses it'. It only requires small amounts of fish food for the species that don't live on duckweed, worms or black fly larvae. It evaporates 1-2 gallons of water a day plus it needs a little solar power for pumping and the LED grow lights.

Both systems are being tested so that the influential factors such as nitrogen, nitrates, nitrites, pH, etc. can all be automatically controlled to simplify the user experience. This is seen as the critical feature to attract the average person.

Fascinating. Why couldn't

Fascinating. Why couldn't they do this in Haiti where there lives the poorest of the poor?

If this works in Bangladesh, it will work everywhere

There could be several answers to that question. What comes to mind is the reliance that country has on foreign aid. It may sound harsh, but the more poverty the more foreign aid can be requested by the corrupt leadership in Haiti.

Another reason, an aquaponic waste water treatment facility would require an infrastructure investment for construction, operation, design and management. I also imagine a lab would be needed, staffed by chemists and bio techs for proper testing, to check for pathogens, monitor PH, ammonia, nitrates, nitrites and bacteria levels, etc.

There could a cultural resistance. In Europe during the mini ice age many people starved because they relied only on grains for food. Many refused to grow potatoes and other alternate crops because of superstitions and an inability to accept change.

I just now found another link

I just now found another link on growing food. http://beforeitsnews.com/survival/2013/01/urban-farming-man-...

bump for duckweed

Duckweed is not just for fish either. What trux says is true, you can eat it, your chickens can, your cows can... It is very high protein, and grows like crazy.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

What struck me as incredible, is the productivity of this system

With no other inputs, like, fresh water, petroleum based fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides, this facility that serves 3,000 people is amazingly productive. I did the math converting metric tonnes to pounds. This aquaponic waste treatment system produces, 1,102 pounds of duckweed a day, 201 tons per year! The fish component produces 121 tons of fish per year! The agricultural production is not mentioned in the video, but has to be in the 500 ton range. All the while purifying waste water to return clean back to the environment.

This may be offensive to the western mind, but it has to be the holly grail of sustainable organic agriculture. If this system was cloned in every city in America, I calculated it would produce 186 billion 500 million tons of fish and agricultural produce. Holly S*** LOL

Holy s--- indeed

We are such a turdophobic society... we want to send our turds on a trip, take a nice vacation, go to hang out at the pool with all the other turds, just make sure I don't have to admit that you are mine. How many times have we been told to "get our sh__ together" but if we actually did, the health department would have a conniption.
We don't want a septic, we want a composting toilet. The hoops we will have to jump through are RIDICULOUS. Meanwhile, our neighbors are saying "dig an outhouse, no one will know" except that one day we MAY seek organic certification, and we do not want to do anything that will prevent that. But it does prove that the county is "protecting" my neighbors from a threat they do not feel is real. At all of our expense, of course.
Awesome video, but I wonder how many would even consider it? ALthough, I thought the masses would be turned offby AJ a lot more than they seem to have been, maybe I have been hiding on the farm while the world woke more than I realized.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Local building ordinances can go from the absurd to ridiculous

We remolded an adjoining bath room and laundry room/utility room into one room, combining them into the same space. We had new appliances, a toilet, vanity, shower, washer, dryer, water heater, water softener and the well equipment all in one room. The building inspector for the township showed up for the occupancy permit inspection, he pointed out that an obscure ordinance would not allow a gas fired appliance in a bathroom, even though the adjoining townships did not have this ordinance. We were forced to remove all the gas appliances and replace them with electric to allow occupancy. I still remember the smirk on that little SOB's face, he really liked to lord over people.

Composting toilets make all the sense in the world, environmentally safe, inexpensive and allowed in most European countries. A septic tank is expensive, but a drain field can be a major expense, even cost prohibitive if your land won't perk.

Duckweed, it's not just for breakfast anymore.

A water plant that can double its volume in 36 hours, contains 45% protein and is an excellent food source for fish, chickens and even cattle. It naturally cleans waste water of nitrates, phosphates and can be used as a biofuel that does not use arable land to produce.
Check out the research on this amazing water plant.

Self-Reliance is sexy as hell.


Great story.

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