Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thank you, California!! Come in, please!!

California Cleans Up Waste Water Using the Vetiver System

It is always exciting to see that Vetiver can be applied so successfully to resolve a problem, and its versatility in application. Bio Clean Environmental Services in Oceanside, which specializes in storm water treatment, used just a few Vetiver plants to "scrub" highly contaminated water.   Zack Kent, Storm Water Engineer, reported that the Oceanside project was an interesting opportunity because it's a very dirty site that treats wash down water from a harbor boat wash site, along with many smaller sewer spills coming from recreational vehicles (RVs) on a continuous basis. In the last two years, the system removed more than 4,000 pounds of oil-laden sediment from the pre-treatment chamber, treating 2,000 to 8,000 gallons of water daily.

Kent said that Bio-Clean chose Vetiver because of its ability to grow in saline water and address the high pollutant loads that characterize the installation.  "It was a great choice and a real success story." A power point containing images and data about this project are available for viewing on TVNI's website:    http://www.vetiver.org/USA_oceanside02.pdf

Approximately 18 Vetiver plants were installed in a concrete treatment box containing a special media.  Said Kent, "One of the ways we get the Vetiver to grow so quickly is we don’t use any soil. It’s a soil-less media made consisting of expanded aggregates and a proprietary hydroponics media. This allows for fast growth." Within 15 months the plants developed a massive root system, which collected high uptakes of N, P and a range of heavy metals.  Trimmed periodically, the Vetiver was dug up after 15 months.

The key data includes removal efficiency when comparing effluent inflow to outflow: nitrate 76%, phosphate 70%, TSS <15 microns 82% , copper 53% (undetectable), lead 100%, Zinc 79%, TPH (gasoline) 42%, TPH (diesel) 100%; TPH (motor oil) 100%, fecal coliform 84%,E. coli 79%, and Enterococci 70%

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