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John Todd's EcoMachine to Reclaim Wastewater & Ecological Balance

Wastewater treatment to reclaim water for recycling and create ecological systems

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John Todd Ecological Design: Eco Machines

News stories about Dr. Todd and team and their Water Solutions: NEWS

Ocean Arks International: A non-profit agency focusing on sustainable water use. "To Restore the Lands, Protect the Seas and Inform the Earth's Stewards". Over the past decade they have begun to explore linkages between ecology and economics, looking to create new kinds of work and enterprise out of environmental protection and restoration initiatives.

Inspired by ecosystems as old as the earth itself, John Todd Ecological Design, Inc. rebuilds ecological balance for clients with The ECO Machine - a wastewater treatment system that naturally treats sewage and industrial waste to re-use quality. Ecological function is an important consideration as fresh water becomes one of the most important commodities in our urbanized world.

John Todd Ecological Design's ECO Machines bring advanced wastewater treatment technology, and unsurpassed aesthetic, economic, and environmental advantages to companies, communities, and resorts both at home and internationally.

Dr. Todd is a pioneer in the emerging field of ecological design and engineering and has won many prestigious awards and honorary degrees including awards for projects from the EPA and a number of innovation awards including the Theodore Roosevelt conservation Award from the White House, and an achievement award by the United Nations Environment Program.

How does an Eco Machine Wastewater Treatment System Work?

ECO Machines accelerate nature's own water purification process. Unlike chemical-based systems, ECO Machines incorporate helpful bacteria, fungi, plants, snails, clams, and fish that thrive by breaking down and digesting organic pollutants, pollutants that normally deprive the water of oxygen. This clean, simple approach efficiently transforms high-strength industrial wastewater and sewage into water clean enough to be recycled for reuse.

Nine Principles for Designing ECO Machines for Ecological Restoration

1. Microbial Communities: The primary ecological foundations of living machines are predicated upon diverse microbial communities obtained from a wide range of aquatic (marine and freshwater) and terrestrial environments. In addition, organisms form chemically and thermally highly stressed environments are critical. Genetic engineering cannot do what constellations of natural organisms can accomplish when they work in concert.

2. Photosynthetic Communities: Sunlight-powered photosynthesis is the primary driving force of these systems. Anaerobic phototrophic microbes, cyanobacteria, algae, and higher plants must be linked in a dynamic balance with the heterotrophic microbial communities.

3. Linked Ecosystems and the Law of the Minimum: At least three distinct types of ecological systems need to be linked together to produce living machines that carry out self design and self repair through time. Such systems have the theoretical ability to span centuries and possibly millennia.

4. Pulsed Exchanges: Nature works in short term/long term pulses which are both regular and irregular. This pulsing is a critical design force and helps maintain diversity and robustness. Pulses need to be intrinsic to design.

5. Nutrient and Micro nutrient Reservoirs: Carbon/Nitrogen/Phosphorus ratios need to be regulated and maintained. A full complement of macro and trace elements needs to be in the system so that complex food matrices can be established and allowed to "explore" a variety of successive strategies over time. This will support biological diversity.

6. Geological Diversity and Mineral Complexity: Living machines can simulate a rapid ecological history by having within them minerals from a diversity of strata and ages. The geological materials can be incorporated into the sub-ecosystems relatively quickly by being introduced as ultra fine powders which can be solubilized over short time frames.

7. Step Gradients: Step gradients are required within and between the sub-elements of the system. These include redox, pH, humic materials, and ligand or metal-based gradients. These gradients help develop the high efficiencies that have been predicted for living machines.

8. Phylogenetic Diversity: In a well engineered ecosystem all phylogenetic levels from bacteria to vertebrates should be included. System regulators and internal designers are often unusual and unpredictable organisms. The development of various phyla has arisen to a large extent from the strategic exploration of the total global system over a vast period of time. This time can be compressed with the consequences of this evolution.

9. The Microcosm as a Tiny Mirror Image of the Macrocosm: This ancient hermetic law applies to ecological design and engineering. As much as possible, global design should be miniaturized in terms of gas, mineral, and biological cycles. The big system relationships need to be maintained in the living machine.

John Todd Ecological Design, Inc.
P.O. Box 497
Woods Hole, MA 02543 USA

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| water | awards | ecosystem | waste management | green building | developer |


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