Vegetation

Our Wastewater Treatment PlantsThere is a lot of freedom in choosing vegetation for the wastewater treatment beds. The plant design can please almost any aesthetic and may be simply decorative or useful. Trees, shrubs, flowering, herbaceous and grass species all flourish.

Some planting options:

  • Landscape ornamentals
  • NC natives
  • Cut flowers
  • Wildlife habitat for birds, butterflies, bees
  • Plants grown in and irrigated with post treatment water are not approved as safe for consumption in North Carolina.

Plants grown in water treatment cells assist in the biological treatment of the water. Plants act like pumps, converting sunlight into chemical energy in the form of sugars, stored in the roots, and carrying oxygen from their leaves to their roots.

The most essential role of plants in wastewater treatment is as a habitat for microbes. Pollutant eating microbes colonize in this food and oxygen rich zone surrounding the root surface. Microbes are very efficient at breaking down pollutants and converting them into harmless gases.

Important to efficient treatment is plant diversity and a variety of root types and depths, from shallow rooted ground covers to medium rooted shrub species. Wetland plants tend to have extensive root systems that foster large colonies of microbes.