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Introduction - understanding sewage water
The Technology & Legal Compliance
Water Treatment Levels & Treated Water Usage
Sound Economics of WWG - Using WWG as economic incentives
Advantages of WWG: an ideal solution
Important Design Factors and Maintenance
Construction and installation Process
Our commitment & expertise
Presentation of the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation (PCRF)
What people say about WWG
Project references

Overview downloads

Photos and applicability in...
Resorts & Hotels
Schools & Research Centres

Scientific Papers
Resources about constructed wetlands

Special announcements, workshops, conferences,...



The Technology & Legal Compliance

The use of wetlands to treat effluent is not a new idea. But in recent decades, wetland scientists have deepened our understanding of how natural wetlands function and provided the basis for the design of constructed wetlands putting these systems to effective work to solve environmental problems.

WASTEWATER GARDENS® (WWG) sewage treatment system was initially developed in the Biosphere 2 Test Module in 1987, and then put to full test in the world renowned first large scale global ecology and closed systems laboratory experimental facility (1.2 hectares, 3 acre), BIOSPHERE 2, in Arizona, during its first years of closure experiments from 1991 to 1994. The WWG system was designed in conjunction with NASA scientists and managed and researched by Dr. Mark Nelson, a member of the eight person Biosphere 2 crew in charge of the water cycle within Biosphere 2. The wetland wastewater treatment system purified all sewage water (from laboratories, workshops, human residences, laundry, animals and agricultural operations.). The cycle of water being extremely accelerated within Biosphere2 (4 days instead of 3-4 years on Earth), the water had to be effectively treated and recycled in a healthy, ecological manner in order for this mini biosphere and its inhabitants to function well.

After leaving Biosphere 2, Dr. Mark Nelson, in collaboration with the Planetary Coral Reef Foundation (PCRF) and the Institute of Ecotechnics, working with the eminent systems ecologist, H.T. Odum of the Center for Wetlands at the University of Florida, further refined the WWG design to make it adaptable and available for application worldwide, in a wide diversity of ecosystems.In the decade following Biosphere 2, WWG systems have been installed in Algeria, Australia, Belize, Europe (France, Poland, Portugal, Spain), Indonesia, Mexico, the US and The Bahamas.

Legal Requirements

Subsurface flow constructed wetlands have been reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Australian authorities, European Health authorities and various other countries' agencies, and meet their wastewater standards.
All constructed wetlands designed and built by WWG team around the world have met and often exceeded requirements of purification provided they were well maintained as trained and indicated on the Maintenance Manual.While the ability of WWG systems for water decontamination is often above local Health Authority treatment requirements, when even higher treatment than normal municipal standards is required for special purposes (areas classified as sensitive ecological zones for example), the area of the wetland is increased and/or made of both horizontal and vertical flow wetlands, thus providing the equivalent of advanced water treatment.

Today, this ecotechnology is finally being proven to be far more effective, affordable and long-lasting than conventional sewage treatment system (high energy consumption, mechanical brake-downs, expensive maintenance), although they are not always adaptable to all situations (higher requirement of land than most conventional sytems). However, regulatory guidelines and trainings differing markedly from country to country, it can be necessary to educate health department officials to sewage treatment via constructed wetlands before the permission to implement a WWG system be granted.