[ZWM] Canna As a Plant Filter

by mynk on Dec 02, 2010      Category: Environment Tags: zwm canna filtering liquid waste management water treatment

Amazing stuff. I had heard of an initiative in which Bouganvillae were used to recycle water from sewers in Pune. 

Canna As a Plant Filter

Cannas are practical and beautiful bio-filters
Cannas are practical and beautiful bio-filters

Dazzling orange cannas are a low-cost solution to wastewater filtration. Sophisticated wastewater filtration systems are too costly for many property owners and small businesses. Using a progression of simple water treatment tactics effectively eliminates contaminants from runoff systems. Cannas are a commonly available plant usable in sequential wastewater systems.

    How Canna Filtration Works

  1. Cannas take up toxins and give off water and oxygen
    Cannas take up toxins and give off water and oxygen

    Cannas are used in rock/filter systems alone or as part of artificial marsh systems. Their roots quickly create a thick biological filter for sediment while their big leaves assist by giving off water into the atmosphere. Rock/filter systems depend on a substrate of gravel and rocks to promote aeration. Cannas hydroponically grown on the rock bed house microorganisms in their roots that feed on wastewater pollutants. Feeding microorganisms make compounds the cannas absorb through their roots as food. In return, cannas produce oxygen and nutrients that the microorganisms use. This symbiotic association purifies wastewater and produces oxygen for the atmosphere. Canna respiration also helps regulate greenhouse gases.
  2. Elements Removed From Wastewater

  3. Cannas filter out toxic metals
    Cannas filter out toxic metals

    Canna roots can remove radioactive elements and low levels of toxic metals as well as organic wastes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explains that microorganisms living symbiotically in the canna filter break down pollutants and "toxic organic compounds, such as benzene, toluene, and PCBs, into harmless elements that microorganisms and the plants can digest". When cannas have absorbed toxic wastes the leaves can be cut and disposed of safely.
  4. Providing Effective Filtration

  5. Cannas effectively clean nursery wastewater
    Cannas effectively clean nursery wastewater

    An example of effective canna filtration is the El Modeno Gardens Nursery in Orange County, California. University of California researchers installed a pond and canna filter ditch to clean nursery runoff. UC Cooperative Extension Director John Kabashima noted that "after moving through the canna filter, the leftover water was clean enough to be reused on the nursery."
  6. Who Can Benefit

  7. Benefits include stormwater treatment
    Benefits include stormwater treatment

    Homeowners benefit by installing canna treatment systems. The simplest type of canna filter is a long, shallow ditch holding a rock filter. Wastewater flows several inches below the surface, producing a large population of beneficial organisms. Inexpensively constructed for use with home septic systems, the canna filter trench replaces the leach field and allows septic tanks to be installed in most areas. 

    Cannas benefit municipalities when used in stormwater treatment. Stormwater must meet strict nitrogen and phosphorus requirements to be released. Cannas score high on removing these two contaminants. Tests conducted by Louisiana State University's Hammond Research Station found canna 'Australia' "had the greatest water consumption, total biomass production, and aboveground nitrogen and phosphorous content."

  8. Canna Filter Cost

  9. Building and maintenance are less costly with canna filters
    Building and maintenance are less costly with canna filters

    Cannas are inexpensive nursery plants readily available for leach field construction. Artificial wetlands systems or rock/filter systems can be built for half the cost of conventional systems and cost two-thirds less to run. Using cannas in these systems provides a realistic low-cost alternative to conventional wastewater treatment.

Download free articles on reverse osmosis and other water topics.

Read more: Canna As a Plant Filter | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6626178_canna-plant-filter.html#ixzz16vu49Nxu

2 users have voted.
mynk's picture


Interested in the development sector and hoping to use the skills to create a positive impact......read more



mynk's picture

A query on the topic discussed -


mynk's picture

Useful info on the topic -

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lavanya
Date: Apr 10, 11:14 pm
Subject: Grey water treatment plant
To: Green-India: India's Energy Future and Sustainable Living

You can refer to these links and try and design on your own or consult
Biome (http://www.biome-solutions.com/).

Grey water treatment info:http://www.rainwaterclub.org/


You may want to repel mosquitoes naturally using these plants:http://

With a bit of creativity, your grey water treatment 'plant' can double
up as a nice landscaped garden with the use ofCanna, Bamboo and the
above mentioned plants.http://www.your-garden-ponds-center.com/water-

Good luck in your endeavor.

coxqozzt's picture

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