Water goes into the small homemade wetland and comes out clean enough to use for watering plants as well as washing floors, cars, and other cleaning chores.
From saving on utility bills to helping replenish groundwater, recycling water has many benefits for both people and the planet. Not long ago, we shared a story about Hydraloop, a water recycling system that can be installed in homes and offices to help reduce water waste. Now, we would like to bring your attention to another solution that’s slightly less high-tech.
Developed by Teresa Ramirez, a horticultural engineering student from Mexico, the new solution involves recycling gray water in the most elegant way possible: using flowers.
The technique is part of an exploration project that Ramirez started for her thesis, during which she investigated how best to clean and reuse greywater from washing machines, showers, and sinks.
She eventually discovered that a small homemade wetland system with cultivated marigolds and chrysanthemums works best for purifying the wastewater. As demonstrated by Ramirez, the water goes into the wetland and comes out clean enough to use for watering plants as well as washing floors, cars, and other cleaning chores. She does note though that water would not be suitable for drinking or preparing food.
As part of the purification process, Ramirez notes, the flower wetland helps eliminate pollutants like phosphorus and nitrogen through assimilation. Another bonus is the aesthetic benefits that the flowers bring to the household, and the costs saved with a lower water bill.
The best part is that Ramirez doesn’t intend to commercialize her idea. Instead, she would like to raise awareness of the concept so people can adopt it themselves and reduce water waste. “We would like to teach the population this process so that they can take advantage of the liquid. This idea is not so much to sell it but to take it to the people and help,” says Ramirez.