EcocyclET systems

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EcocyclET is a system that removes pollution through evapotranspiration, using plants' requirements for water and nutrients to filter wastewater.


First known as the Waste Water Garden, the EcocyclET is a bio-engineered system whose technologies were developed and licensed by David Del Porto of the Ecological Engineering Group in Concord, MA, from a concept originally conceived and tested by University of Toronto environmental engineering professor Alfred Bernhart ("Evapotranspiration Nutrient uptake Soil infiltration of Effluent water” A.P. Bernhart).

In 2004, Centre for Sustainable Watersheds completed the installation of Canada’s first EcocyclET. This prototype was initiated to demonstrate a sustainable technology for rural wastewater management, ensuring zero discharge to the ground.


Most plants use photosynthesis and evapotranspiration (ET). EcocyclET is a closed-loop operation that employs lined beds of sand, crushed stone and gravels and specified plantings. Effluent from septic tanks, greywater, composting toilets leachate or urine from separating toilets, is recirculated through the bed. There, naturally occurring micro-organisms convert the chemical constituents of the wastewater into nutrients for plants growth. The impervious bed liner ensures that no effluent can enter the subsurface environment or nearby receiving waters. All the wastewater will be ultimately transpirated as un-transpirated effluent is drained back into a recycle tank, stored and pumped back to the bed when the conditions for evapotranspiration are optimal. The system can also by used as a greywater reuse planter to be installed where soils are too poor to be considered for a soil absorption system.


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