Minigarden Treats Wastewater
Wetland plants such as water lettuce and pickerel weed can remove shampoo and hair dye from water in a couple of days. And a team from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., is trying to take advantage of that by at a Boone hair salon. In the model, vegetation strips contaminants from the salon’s graywater—wastewater from sinks, floor drains, and anywhere other than the toilet. The water may not be fit to drink, but the system will divert it to the salon’s toilet for flushing. It takes a lot of effort to treat water until it’s fit for consumption, the team members say, so it seems odd that we flush our toilets with drinking water.
The researchers won one of the EPA’s second-round grants for up to $90,000 to carry out the next phase of their project and build their wetland in the salon.