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// Earth Keepers

Breaking down the wastewater

CapeCod on Mercredi, mai 12, 2010

In the 1970s, a group of forward-thinking oceanographers and engineers sequestered themselves on a few dozen acres on Hatchville Road-- just about 10 miles from Woods Hole. Their dream: to design a self-sustaining way of living, limiting their consumption to what they could grow or make themselves, and returning any waste to the natural cycle. This was sustainability before the word turned into a marketing term. In addition to growing their food in a bio-shelter and living in super-insulated buildings, one of the New Alchemy founders devised a way to turn what is traditionally called “wastewater” into a resource. Dr. John Todd’s vision adapted nature’s principles to create the EcoMachine, shown in Earth Keepers at Dr. Todd's home in Falmouth. The surprisingly simple design effectively breaks down the harmful microbes and complex nutrients in wastewater, while providing nutrients for plants and fish. Spreading the word Inspired by Dr. Todd's vision, local documentary filmmaker Kristin Alexander produced a short documentary, called Green EcoMachine. After Earth Keepers, we showed her 11-minute film, which has shown audiences from Woods Hole to Los Angeles the possibilities of sustainable wastewater treatment.