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The Living Machine. By: Meredith and Leah. Main Goal. The main goal of the living machine is to be a sustainable alternative to conventional waste disposal.

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the living machine

The Living Machine

By: Meredith and Leah

main goal
Main Goal
  • The main goal of the living machine is to be a sustainable alternative to conventional waste disposal.
  • It also provides an educational opportunity from its simulation of ecosystems.

  • Everyday two million tons of human waste is disposed of in water courses
  • Less then 1% of the water supply is available for human consumption.
  • In developing nations, 90% of sewage is dumped untreated into usable water supplies.
  • 1.2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water
  • More then 25,000 people die each day from water related illnesses.
traditional systems
Traditional systems
  • Traditional systems:
    • Use environmentally harmful chemicals
    • Create toxic sludge
    • Are energy intensive
    • And often dispose improperly of toxic sludge

making a difference
“Making a Difference”
  • Can provide cost effective onsite treatment systems to prevent waste from polluting rivers and other water sources.
  • Can be installed in places where traditional treatment plants are not able to go
  • Reduces the need to draw on precious water supplies for such things as irrigation and toilet flushing
  • Economic potential in methane gas production and cultivation of plants able to grow in solutions provided by the machine
what it does
What it does
  • The living machine takes wastewater and purifies it to a point where it can be directly discharged into waterways or can be recycled
  • It does so by utilizing a set of created ecologies
  • Each system is designed specifically depending on the type of wastewater it will treat.

how it works
How it works
  • Anaerobic settling tank – this tank allows solids to fall out of the wastewater and sink to the bottom allowing it to become clearer.
  • A Biofilter of bark and other soil-like materials –this is the first filtration and first step to help reduce the odor
  • Photosynthetic algae tank –fix oxygen back into the water and provide organic food (dead algae) for respiration
how it works cont d
How it works cont’d
  • Higher plants (typically water hyacinth) in aerobic tanks grow in a nutrient solution -provide a stable environment for microbes and remove heavy metals from the water.
  • Microbes are an ideal source of food for plankton which are ideal sources for filter feeding fish
  • This creates the ability for detritus-feeding fish to be added in later tanks so they may consume the larger sections of the treated sludge.
technological obstacles
Technological obstacles
  • Most living machines require a greenhouse or other structure to protect it from colder weather.
  • Minimal exposure to the environment so it has been unable to become a true ecosystem with natural selection and self-design and management.
political economic obstinacies
Political/Economic obstinacies
  • The psychological effect of being able to drink your own wastewater.
  • Traditional wastewater treatments have been embedded into our economy.
  • The living system could have difficulty breaking through the mass scale of traditional systems.
  • Costly to construct
negative environmental impacts
Negative environmental impacts
  • If pollution occurs it is due to improper or incomplete design of the Living Machine