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Effluent Reclamation

 
                                      
Posts: 4
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Hi all,
So I've been pondering this concept for a while.  There is a serious issue of dead zones forming from surface runoff in areas with lots of a) agribusiness, and b) urban hardtopping.  Lots of nutrients/topsoil erode, and get mixed in with pollution (to varying degrees, depending on whether you're in Veracruz, Mexico or a stream running next to a farm in semi-rural Missouri.  Now, my question is: is there any precedent for reclaiming this highly valuable material, and how difficult would it be? 

I know the best answer is to eliminate runoff in the first place, but the fact still remains that a lot of resource is washed and washing down the drain and is not likely to stop in the near future.  As well, the material already out there is vast, useful, and destructive; whereas if we reappropriated it, we would simultaneously help restore the habitats and obtain valuable fertilizer.

Considerations include that trawling would be potentially hazardous, though harvesting the dying algae would probably be a fairly safe way to do it.  Then there would be pollution, salinity, and possibly dangerous microorganisms.  So if you could find a way to reclaim vast quantities and, say, plant it with mycelium or some other plant which would then be composted, as well as more traditional treatments like UV, chemical, or physical treatments... 

How likely or useful of an activity is this?  As a business? As a government project? As a source for personal resource? 
 
Posts: 418
Location: Eugene, OR
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1. Plant wetland plants.
2 Once rushes are mature, cut them and grow fungi.
3. Once fungi have accumulated dangerous materials, dispose of them.
4. Use the rest as fertiliser.
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