On-site wastewater recycling system at Pennsylvania school is largest in state

All wastewater at northeastern Pennsylvania's Evergreen Elementary School is now being actively treated and recycled by Living Machine® technology...

Sep 11th, 2012

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, Sept. 11, 2012 -- All wastewater at northeastern Pennsylvania's Evergreen Elementary School is now being actively treated and recycled by Living Machine® technology. It is the largest on-site wastewater reuse system permitted in the state of Pennsylvania.

Designed to replace two smaller, aging schools, the new Evergreen Elementary school site in Wayne County was not served by sewer. School officials wanted to find an on-site wastewater treatment system that could not only treat wastewater, but could also recycle all wastewater into a high-quality (tertiary standard) resource for irrigating athletic fields and flushing toilets.

The Living Machine® system is an ecological wastewater treatment and reuse technology which turns both blackwater and graywater* into high quality, reusable water for non-potable (non-drinking) uses. Recognized as the most energy efficient system to meet high quality reuse standards, Living Machine® technology applies the principles of tidal wetland ecology and enhances performance through a patented process, utilizing the latest technology and engineering.

"With no sewer connection and an interest in looking at a more ecologically sound approach to on-site wastewater treatment and reuse, we suggested evaluating Living Machine technology," said Gary Cavill, P.E. Civil Engineer at Greenman-Pedersen Inc., the engineering firm for the school project. "After looking at our options, a Living Machine system delivered high-quality water for full reuse in a modest and energy efficient size, with the added bonus of being easy to operate and a centerpiece for science education."

All school wastewater (about 7,000 gallons per day) flows into a series of wetland cells (watertight containment basins) that are filled with special gravel that promotes the development of micro-ecosystems. As water moves through the system, the cells are alternately filled and drained to create multiple tidal cycles each day, accelerating what is found in nature, and resulting in high-quality reusable water. Even though the Living Machine® system can be placed outside in temperate climates, most of the components are located in a greenhouse, allowing for easy, year-round access for educational purposes.

"We applaud Western Wayne School District for selecting a water solution that avoids building new water pipelines and allows them to create new sources of water for the school," said Will Kirksey, Global Development Officer at Living Machine Systems.

By treating and recycling wastewater with a Living Machine® system, a building, campus, or community can minimize nutrient discharges into the watershed and become more water independent to weather droughts or other water restrictions.

*Blackwater indicates that the source may be toilet wastewater, while graywater sources are found in the kitchen, the laundry, bathrooms/washrooms, sinks, and showers.

About Living Machine Systems
Living Machine Systems, L3C is a certified B Corp -- a social and environmental benefit corporation -- using the power of business to ensure the world's supply of fresh water is safe, plentiful and accessible to all. With its affiliate, Worrell Water Technologies, LLC, Living Machine Systems has been developing advanced ecological wastewater treatment systems for 15 years. Living Machine® systems integrate tidal wetland ecosystem science, engineering and information technologies to deliver efficient, beautiful and cost effective water reuse technology, providing water security and independence for a community's lasting economic health.

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