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Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 147; doi:10.3390/su9010147

The Brookside Farm Wetland Ecosystem Treatment (WET) System: A Low-Energy Methodology for Sewage Purification, Biomass Production (Yield), Flood Resilience and Biodiversity Enhancement

1
Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University, Ryton Organic Gardens, Wolston Lane, Coventry CV8 3LG, UK
2
Biologic Design, Archenhills, Stanford Bishop, Bringsty, Herefordshire WR6 5TZ, UK
3
GICONSIME Research Group, Department of Construction and Manufacturing Engineering, Polytechnic School of Mieres, University of Oviedo, Calle Gonzalo Gutiérrez Quirós s/n, Mieres (Asturias) 33600, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecology and Water Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4929 KB, uploaded 26 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

Wastewater from domestic developments, farms and agro-industrial processing can be sources of pollution in the environment; current wastewater management methods are usually machine-based, and thus energy consuming. When Permaculture Principles are used in the creation of water purification and harvesting systems, there can be multiple environmental and economic benefits. In the context of energy descent, it may be considered desirable to treat wastewater using minimal energy. The constructed wetland design presented here is a low-entropy system in which wastewater is harvested and transformed into lush and productive wetland, eliminating the requirement for non-renewable energy in water purification, and also maximising benefits: biodiversity, flood resilience and yield. In permaculture design, the high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous compounds in sewage are viewed as valuable nutrients, resources to be harvested by a constructed wetland ecosystem and converted into useful yield. Similarly, rainwater runoff is not viewed as a problem which can cause flooding, but as a potential resource to be harvested to provide a yield. This paper presents a case study, with both water quality and productivity data, from Brookside Farm UK, where the use of Permaculture Design Principles has created a combined wastewater management and purification system, accepting all site water. View Full-Text
Keywords: WET system; water retentive landscape; natural wastewater treatment; permaculture design principles; low-entropy systems; sustainable drainage systems; wastewater reuse; energy descent; low-impact development; whole site water reticulation WET system; water retentive landscape; natural wastewater treatment; permaculture design principles; low-entropy systems; sustainable drainage systems; wastewater reuse; energy descent; low-impact development; whole site water reticulation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Abrahams, J.C.; Coupe, S.J.; Sañudo-Fontaneda, L.A.; Schmutz, U. The Brookside Farm Wetland Ecosystem Treatment (WET) System: A Low-Energy Methodology for Sewage Purification, Biomass Production (Yield), Flood Resilience and Biodiversity Enhancement. Sustainability 2017, 9, 147.

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