..the news today is that the Living Design Group has launched a new generation of Living Machines. Now, even more simple to operate, cost effective and aesthetically pleasant! As opposed to the first generation of (greenhouse enclosed) Living Machines, this Advanced Generation of Living Machine systems require no environmental enclosure in moderate climates, and can be integrated seamlessly into the working green space of a variety of project types and scales. In addition, they do not produce bio-solids (sludge) and can withstand large variations of loadings associated with seasonal uses.
Just to back up a little, Living Machines, invented by Dr. John Todd, use plants and microbes to clean water instead of chemicals. They can handle household waste, and easily tackle industrial wastes, turning 600 to 750,000 gallons of waste per day into hyacinths and snails... Dr. Todd (a student of Bucky Fuller BTW), has been working with Living Machines for decades has found that there are certain plants or small animals that love certain kinds of waste. What he does is let the water run through a series of cisterns with different plants in each. What one plant likes to eat, it turns into other forms of waste, so in the next cistern he has the plant that considers that waste food. By the time the water comes out, it's 5 times cleaner than traditional waste water treatment.
For communities, Living Machine systems are an alternative to dependence on municipal wastewater treatment facilities and provide a cost effective and smart growth alternative to extending existing municipal sewer lines. In addition, they can be designed and expanded in a modular fashion so that wastewater treatment is consistent with the needs of a growing community.
the LDG is based in Taos NM (what a wild place!!) and while Dr. Todd is not actively involved in the Group (he teaches at UVM, it's a little far) he is in their hearts, that's for sure... they (LDG) also do have a pretty active blog, so you can follow the advancements of this technology, sure to spread around the globe to anywhere where.. where we can use clean water!