ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Grey Water Clean Up With Azolla Update

Updated on September 3, 2014

Developments 1 Year after Start up

The final filtration of my grey water through an Azolla pond has been functioning extremely well for a little under a year. The Azolla had grown profusely over the entire surface, dominating over the Spirogyra, Wolffia borialis and Duck Weed.

In mid-December I travelled overseas for 6 weeks, during which time no grey water flowed into the filter. The weather during that time was fairly hot, with little or no rain.

The water level dropped about 100mm in total. Azolla was presumably getting too little nutrients. Spirogyra became dominant, with some Duck Weed.

Please click on the Link below for a very impressive account of Duck Weed: with many thanks to that author!


When Grey Water Flow Ceases

Water flow had ceased, level had dropped through evaporation.
Water flow had ceased, level had dropped through evaporation.
Spirogyra has taken over and smothered the Azolla.
Spirogyra has taken over and smothered the Azolla.
The shade cloth acts as a filter on the outlet.
The shade cloth acts as a filter on the outlet.

Smothering Mat Removed

6 Days Later

One Week More

2 weeks after smothering mat was removed
2 weeks after smothering mat was removed
Air Temperature
Air Temperature
Water Temperature
Water Temperature

Three Weeks After Rejuvenation

Just three weeks after removing that thick mat of algae and decaying Azolla, the surface of the pond is covered in an ecosystem of Duckweed, Spirogyra, Azolla and Wolffia. The water under this growth is not smelly. It has been oxygenated well by photosynthesis of the algae and two species of flowering plant.


The colour of the water is now a light brown, caused probably by tannins from the mulch filter upstream from the pond.

Small clumps of Azolla, Duckweed (Lemna minor and Wolffia borialis) the darker Spirogyra is visible with the oxygen bubbles poking through.
Small clumps of Azolla, Duckweed (Lemna minor and Wolffia borialis) the darker Spirogyra is visible with the oxygen bubbles poking through.
Clear water, from beneath the surface, with the brown colour produced by tannins in the water.
Clear water, from beneath the surface, with the brown colour produced by tannins in the water.

Conclusions so far

It would be useful now to get a test done on the water, to see if the BOD, e.coli and nitrogen levels have changed with the dominant species.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Interesting hub jonny. I applaud you for attempting to filter/clean your grey water this way. Please let us know how the tests on the cleaned water turns out and if it is free of bacteria etc.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      jonny...this is a very interesting and informational hub.....(but that's not why I'm here) I thought you may be interested to know that our friend on your current forum thread( re: christians & sex)...apparently singled me out from the crowd and complained to TeamHub. I'm banned from the forums for 3 months because of him.

      Can you believe this?? The utter nerve, gall and audacity of him! He rants & raves, points fingers, insults people outright.....repeating the same thing over and over and basically accuses everyone of "beastiality".......and I GET BANNED? Totally unfair. I do not understand why HP powers did not LOOK at his comments!! BTW.....did you see the way he addressed you in one comment by deliberately Mis-spelling your hub name? Disgusting! You can email me at fpherj48@aol.com..........Peace.

    • profile image

      Peter Ray 3 years ago from Birmingham UK

      I did a brief google search as grey water is completely foreign to me.

      It seems to an interesting topic.

    • jonnycomelately profile image
      Author

      Alan 3 years ago from Tasmania

      Thanks you in4mative. It is an ongoing study and project. Still lots to learn but the journey of learning is so exciting and informative. It keeps my mind and enthusiasm alive.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 months ago from Orlando Florida

      I have not heard of a azolla. I once had a client who asked me do some market research for him. He told me about archaea to treat contanimated water. Is azolla a type archaea?

    • jonnycomelately profile image
      Author

      Alan 2 months ago from Tasmania

      Catherine, welcome to this hub and thanks for visiting.

      No, Azolla is not an archaea, or single-celled organism. There are several species around the world; I am only working with A. filiculoides, which originated from the Andean region of South America I believe.

      Most, but not all of these species have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen via symbiosis with a cyanobacteria, Anabaena azollae. Azolla is an aquatic fern in which there is also the inherent ability take up considerable quantities of phosphates and other nutrients. The plant can then be useful as a food supplement for poultry, ducks, cows; also as a slow release fertiliser for rice production and general horticulture.

      My biggest interest is in trying to supply the essential phosphate requirements via composting of tree leaves and recycling kitchen grey water through the compost....in the hope this can help people in developing countries utilise Azolla without the huge financial burden of buying artificial fertilisers.

      You might care to look into the website of The Azolla Foundation.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thanks for your reply and thank you for the work you do.

    Click to Rate This Article