University of Maryland
A number of different types of ecosystems have been created for wastewater treatment including microbial reactors, algal tanks and scrubbers and constructed wetlands. Treatment is performed by these ecosystems through physical/chemical processes such as soil absorption and through metabolic processes such as denitrification. A set of constructed ecosystems that is connected in a sequence to provide treatment of a waste stream that flows through it is sometimes referred to as a living machine. In this paper the design of a floating living machine is described as the product of an educational experience by a group of senior-level university students.