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Identifier

GPS_2011_GRAND_Sewage_Gone_Green

Date

2011

Abstract

The Mbaracayu Forest Reserve School in Paraguay lacks an adequate sewage processing system. However, many modern techniques for producing clean effluent utilize expensive and environmentally damaging chemicals. A more sustainable alternative exists by using naturally occurring macrophytes and microbes to purify raw sewage. Through literary research and working with Martin Burt of the Fundacion Paraguaya, sponsor of this project, we designed a parallel lagoon system that uses water hyacinth and natural processes to create clean effluent which is discharged away from the community. Raw sewage enters the system at an elevated position and is slowly driven by gravity through a series of lagoons with different functions and processes that reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, TSS, BOD, and pathogens from the sewage to acceptable levels. The flow is controllable by manually operated gates. The parallel lagoons are interconnected by pipes and operable gates to allow parts of the system to be bypassed for maintenance or in case of malfunction. In addition to producing safe effluent, this system creates two sustainable agricultural resources for the school in sludge and water hyacinth. The sludge can be used as a fertilizer rich in organic material and nutrients including phosphorus and nitrogen. Water hyacinth can be utilized as compost, animal feed, rope, and for paper fabrication. This solution will provide the Mbaracayu school with necessary sewage treatment and two sustainable resources for agriculture while hopefully providing a template to other communities in developing countries across the world.

Poster Presentation, Judges Award (2011)

Keywords

Grand Challenges

Disciplines

Architecture | Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Language

English

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Rights

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Course

Grand Challenges

Program

Great Problems Seminar

Format

application/pdf

Sewage Gone Green


Poster Presentation, Judges Award (2011)

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