On occasion, we end up with some neat little pieces and parts of things. We always do our best to recycle or “upcycle” as much as possible – we take pains to remove tanks from the ground in one piece and keep just about every doodad and whatsit you can imagine.
Our quasi-floating constructed wetlands is a project made from wingdings and thingamabobs we had laying around, along with some plants which were removed from out other constructed wetland to make room for a Ph.D. thesis project for a student at Stony Brook University.
The large yellow tank was a chemical feed tank that the wastewater treatment plant next door was going to cut up and get rid of. The smaller barrels are also courtesy of our neighbor. The barrels do not “float” as they would in a real-world installation, but instead sit on top of platforms. within the larger tank. Each barrel is filled with a variety of wetland species and varying media – woodchips of two types, and an expanded-clay material.
There are also a number of “rescue” frogs – we find that frogs love to hop into damp places they can’t extricate themselves from- and a few fish.
The system is fed with nitrified secondary effluent from a pressure-dosed leachfield nearby, in addition to rainwater and any water we add to keep the volume of the tank at a relatively static level. Because septic effluent typically has low Dissolved Oxygen, we use two large aerators recycled from a couple of old treatment units.