Cleaning soil & water (was Phyto-mining)

From: altamira (
Date: Thu Jun 22 2000 - 13:20:21 MDT

Thank you for the link, Brian. I've had some interesting experiences using
plants for purifying soil and water. One of the most interesting has been
using water hyacinth to clear water.

The land I live on has no easy access to underground water, which is one
reason it was never settled (I don't know whether I mentioned it before, but
the land is very much the same as it was 500 years ago; it was considered
trash land, due to the extremely poor soil and lack of water).

Although I now have rainwater storage for drinking water and a limited
amount of household water, most of the household water and all the
irrigation water comes from an earth pond, which has about an acre in
surface area when it's full and is around 15 feet deep in the center.

The pond water is turbid with suspended particles of clay which are of such
low mass that the Brownian motion of the molecules prevents them from
settling out. They easily pass through a .5 micron filter. This presents no
problem for irrigating, but I find it aesthetically unpleasant to bathe in
water that has the appearance of pork gravy. (it has a very high iron

I tried various flocculants, including the newest organic polymers on the
market, and I couldn't get anything to work but alum. The alum works great
to get the water crystal clear, but I didn't like the idea of dumping the
residue on my land (or anywhere else), so I began experimenting with various

I found that water hyacinth will clear the water nicely, although it does
take longer than using alum. Interestingly, the animals prefer to drink the
water hyacinth treated water over every other kind of water I've offered
them, including city water, rain water, pond water, and bottled spring
water. I don't know what effect water hyacinth has on pathogens in the
water. It did take away the unpleasant odor associated with "iron


> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Brian D Williams
> Brian

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