Clatsop County Community College, OR Living Machine

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Clatsop County Community College, OR, US

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Type: Program

Status: Ongoing

Source File:


MERTS Phase lll, "The Living Machine®"
A Cost-Effective Means To Clean Waste Water

Innovative And Ecologically Sound Wastewater Treatment - The First Of Its Kind In The Pacific Northwest

A cost-effective pilot program which uses aquatic plants and creatures to clean wastewater is now the operational sewage treatment plant for the MERTS Campus at South Tongue Point.

This facility, a modified greenhouse, is a valuable component of the MERTS campus and its vision, providing a regional demonstration site. Representatives of smaller communities, business and industry are welcome to visit this unique installation to learn how to adapt the technology to their own needs.

Such systems can be found in a number of locations around the country and the globe. A company based in Taos, New Mexico, provided the final engineering for installation of the aptly-named "Living Machine®" at the South Tongue Point site. The company, Living Machines Inc., estimates that the Living Machine® costs half that of a wastewater system which would pump South Tongue Point's waste stream to the city's treatment lagoon.

The MERTS campus Living Machine® system is split into two treatment trains to facilitate operational flexibility and the support of research initiatives. A series of ecological habitats housed in small fiberglass tanks will serve as the main treatment components in the system. The final polishing of the wastewater takes place in constructed wetlands followed by an ultraviolet disinfection unit. All of these processes take place within greenhouse enclosure. See How It Works for a condensed look at the step-by-step process.

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