Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Hyacinths treat wastewater



A subsidiary of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation treats 180,000 gallons of wastewater effluent a day with water hyacinths at almost 50 times less the cost of conventional chemical and mechanical methods. Project Hyacinth may have significance for a closed ecosystem aboard a space station.

Coral Ridge Properties, founder and prime developer of the city of Coral Springs, Florida, based their wastewater treatment on research by B. C. Wofverton at NASA's National Space Technology Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The facility has treated all of its raw sewage and toxic chemical waste with hyacinths for over 6 years, Wolverton says. Current experiments investigate conversion of harvested hyacinth plants to natural gas.