Plants at Work: Greywater Wetlands

The last issue of Plants at Work, a supplement created by the regional group Sprout, and periodically attached to the Sustainable Industries Journal, provided some information on the up-and-coming issue related to greywater wetlands – in particular the potential use of these facilities to treat and make available, water for reuse in buildings.  The potential for greywater reuse to expand the ability to provide water conservation to sustainable landscapes is vital for our local climate, which is marked by long periods of drought in summer months.  Greywater, with minimal treatment, can be repurposed for use in irrigation of green roofs or other landscaping, as well as provide a beautiful site amenity.  The article ‘Building Wetlands: Legalizing greywater reuse opens new markets for wetland plants’, is written by Libby Tucker, who is also a frequent contributor to the DJC.

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The article featured a number of GreenWorks projects.  There are no small scale examples of building wetlands for greywater at this time, but simple modifications can be made to other forms of constructed wetlands to provide this additional benefit.  Once the laws are changed, this will open up new potential for sustainable sites and water management – expanding the realm of design from sustainable to regenerative.   Projects include the Synopsis Headquarters in Hillsboro, 4800 Meadows in Lake Oswego, Rock Creek Greenway Wetlands, NRS Headquarters in Salem, and Tanner Springs Park in Portland. 

Downloads of the magazine are available here.  (definitely check out the article on Floating Wetlands as well… good stuff).

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Also, be sure to check out the presentation at Sprout’s upcoming conference ‘Soak it Up: Phytotechnology Solutions for Water Challenges’.   GreenWorks Senior Associate Jason King, ASLA LEED AP, will present at the first day of the conference on the theme: “Connecting Landscape Function to Ecological Function Through Design.” which will feature a range of GreenWorks and other related project work pushing the boundaries of  innovative stormwater management… truly putting plants to work every day.

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