June 17, 2006

Recycle your own sewage and slash water use

A Sydney scientist has developed a revolutionary sewage recycling technology for homes and apartments that are a spin-off from nuclear research at Lucas Heights to develop antibiotics and environmental repair technology. Dr Tony Taylor, a microbiologist for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has developed technolgy that uses bacteria and fungi to convert sewage into water fit for gardens, flushing toilets and cleaning. :::[SMH]

A home would need a unit, costing about $2000, fitted with 40 to 50 gills - membranes, or panels - each about one metre by 1.5 metres. Sewage flowing down the middle of each gill would seep through, feeding bacteria and fungi growing on the outside.

The bacteria and fungi would eat the waste, using oxygen from the air to remove nutrients and toxins. So, it was also "a stomach and a lung". "We are aiming at reducing water consumption at the house by 40 to 60 per cent. You would still have sewage leaving the house, but it would first go around two or three times."

While existing sewage treatment plants already use bacteria, the new technology was significantly more efficient, and a fifth the cost.

Conventional treatment systems also use oxygen, creating bubbles in the sewage. "But bubbles are very expensive to make," Dr Taylor said. "They use a lot of electricity, producing lots of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels."
The running costs of the 'nano-particulate membrane bio-reactor' are about $A1.30 per kilolitre, the current cost of Sydney town-water.

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Miss Krin said...

Fantastic, since one of the key issues with the use of recycled water is the cost. Under current pricing arrangments, and without the absence of regulatory pressure, recycled water is generally not cost effective. However a system where the running costs are the same as mains water, and would stay at a similar level thoguh mains water might go up, this is a good thing.

Some questions that spring to mind:
Is is ready to buy, or still in pilot stage?
Can it be retro-fitted?
How much space does it take up?
Has it been given a rating under BASIX?

Wadard said...

Good questions, I'll have to look into them and blog up the answers.

Dan Trabue said...

Very interesting stuff and affordable, which is key.

And what a intriguing house atop your blog? Is this your abode? Tell me more about it.

Wadard said...

Hi Dan,

The house is the house I would like to live in. It's a photo I came across when I was looking at what was in my cache, and I though it perfectly expressed what I wanted The Green House to be.

If anyone has seen this piccy before and knows where it is from, let me know so I can at least acknowledge it.

warming said...

its very intrested question about the green house

Nicole Boivin said...

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We would much appreciate a review of our site or any
feedback to help improve our service.

Nicole Boivin

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