Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tussocks - Floating Wetlands - Cleaning Waterbodies

Sometimes answers to complicated problems can be very simple. RJ & I were attending another Stormwater/Clean Water Trade show recently. New mechanical devices designed to treat stormwater adorned almost every booth. There were Jellyfish and Hippos (literally) and ground up rubber tires and pumps and valves and everything mechanical and everything expensive.


RJ turned to me after I commented on how the need for clean water was driving all kind of mechanical inventions and noted... 'but God has made the best process for removing pollutants - Plants!'

I couldn't agree more. Sometimes we are fixated on long equations and electrically driven motors with pumps and gadgets for removing those pollutants made with the same motors, pumps and gadgets - from our stormwater.

Maybe the simple, cost effective answer lies in Plants. I think RJ has a point.

Check out the video of the floating tussocks RJ and I built for a pond on a golf course in St. Augustine, Florida. The severe cold (low 20's) we had lately bit the canna back a little, but they are growing rapidly, drinking up the fertilizer runoff as quickly as it finds the way off the fairway into the waterbodies.

Simple technology. Use Florida native species - allow the cleansing and removal process to work, harvest the biomass and reuse as compost/mulch somewhere else on site. Cleans the water and saves Florida's cypress trees from being ground into landscape mulch.

Simple. Cost-effective. Why aren't we as a State using these tussocks?

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