Wastewater Gardens are an environmentally-friendly approach to treating and recycling residential
sewage, protecting the groundwater and greening the landscape. The ideal applications for Wastewater Gardens are for houses, businesses and communities which do not have connections to centralized sewage systems and must do on-site treatment and reuse..
How it works
A Wastewater Garden processes all black and grey water in three stages thus
preventing the pollution of soil and ground water.
The first stage separates solids and occurs in a conventional, watertight septic tank.
For the second stage, the nutrient-rich wastewater
effluent from the septic tank is fed into a
water-proof lined, subsurface flow wetland. The
sewage water is kept 5-10 cm. below the surface
of a bed of clean gravel aggregate. The wetland
is planted with a wide variety of wetland plants,
specially selected for the locality and adapted to
The third and final stage is the leach drain. The leach drain area also becomes a beautiful wastewater ecoscape as the area is planted with a variety of native shrubs and trees including fruit trees.
Tested and proven reliable
In research over the past decades, the Wastewater Gardens have a well-documented track record of consistently cleaning water to levels better than municipal standards for wastewater treatment. Developed by Dr. Mark Nelson, a director of Birdwood Downs Company working with the Center for Wetlands at the University of Florida, Wastewater Gardens are now operating at over a hundred sites in Mexico, Indonesia, the Bahamas, Belize, Algeria, Poland, Spain, Portugal, France, the United States and Australia. The Wastewater Gardens in Western Australia are currently under trial.
Why Wastewater Gardens are the best solution
- The wetlands are low-cost, low-maintenance and long-lived. Maintenance requirements are simple and can easily be done, thus reducing the total cost of ownership.
- The reduction of polluting nutrients by the second stage wetland substantially increases the lifetime of the leach drains, again reducing the total cost of ownership of the sewage processing system.
- The Wastewater Garden produces green areas thus reducing the need for reticulation of greenery and so conserving potable water and the energy to pump it.
- The wetland systems add considerably to the landscape beauty and can also include plants which can be harvested for useful or saleable products.
- There are no odours, no accidental contact nor mosquito-breeding, as the sewage is kept below dry gravel and air-tight lids and has no contact with the air.
- Wastewater gardens are sized for their specific use and can be sized for any number of people.
- The shape of the Wastewater Garden and leach drain ecoscape can be individually chosen to suit your needs, so that their greenery can be used for privacy barriers and provide shady areas for enjoyment.
Scientific & Conference Papers
Effective Approaches for Environmental and Wasterwater Management and Training--The Birdwood Downs Case Studies in the Kimberly Region of West Australia
"Living Off the Land": Resource Efficiency of Wetland Wastewater Treatment
Worldwide Applications of Wastewater Gardens and Ecoscaping: Decentralised Systems which Transform Sewage from Problem to Productive, Sustainable Resource
A low cost, modern & ecological way to treat sewage & wastewater
Contact us for more information and visit www.wastewatergardens.com