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Root Zone Process, a Natural Method of Wastewater Biological Treatment

Root Zone Process

a natural method of wastewater biological treatment

The root zone process (method based upon the root system of plants) has been developed by the Professor R. Kickuth of the Kassel University in Germany. It has been extensively applied since the 1970’s.

The method is based upon the self-regulated proess of the active ground systems. The wastewater passes horizontally through a ground layer which is planted with a special kind of cane, of the species Phrogmites australis.

This method can replace all other conventional methods of wastewater treatment, as it offers many technical, financial and environmental advantages which are presented below.

The principle of the method

The combination of the action between ground – roots – microorganisms guarantees a high efficiency for the biochemical processes, which results in the cleaning of the most difficult kinds of wastewater.

The ground filters, withholds, accumulates and activates the contaminating substances. In this way, the necessary preparatory treatment is done for its degradation by the microorganisms.

The root system of the plants provides the microorganisms with oxygen and ensures the hydraulic conductance of the ground. Under these conditions 100 times more specialized species of microorganisms can adapt themselves to the various kinds of wastewater than with the conventional methods.

Degradation of even the most difficult to degrade substances

The aforementioned conditions create the suitable prerequisites for the removal of even the most problematic kinds of wastewater. The chain reactions in the active ground systems cause:

  • Degradation of the most difficult to degrade organic compounds, such as:
    • chlorinated hydrocarbons
    • polycyclic aromatic compounds, with nitrogen or sulphur
    • paints, phenoles and others
  • Removal of the phosphoric compounds and the heavy metals
  • Eradication of the pathogens
  • Assimilation of the biological mud by the ground

Characteristics and advantages of the method

  • Self-regulated cleaning processes
  • Minimal demands for function and maintenance
  • Zero energy consumption
  • Low construction and functional cost
  • No moving parts, no reason for damages
  • No need for the presence of trained staff
  • Stabile cleaning process, even under extreme weather conditions
  • Gradual efficiency increase by the time, which does not happen by conventional plants
  • It does not show any symptom of saturation in any case
  • High fluctuations of volume or in load concentration do not cause any problem in the function of the system
  • In the summer monts there are no losses due to evaporation (100% efficiency)
  • Endurance to high hydraulic loads
  • Total absense of mud after the treatment
  • No bad smell at all
  • Several sizes for the possibility of treatment of wastewater volume from 1m3 to 10.000m3 in average per day.
  • The plant is constructed in parts, with flexibility for eventual extension whenever needed
  • Long lifetime, longer than 50 years
  • Flexibility regarding the choice of the place of construction
  • Harmonic adaptation to the natural site
  • It also functions as a bioclimatic habitat of rare birds
  • Zero contaminatio of the atmosphere thanks to no fuel consumption
  • It complies with the new directions of the European Union, according to which the advanatages of the technical applications are evaluated according their environmental repercussions
  • Production of ground improving product free from pollutants, toxic substances and humidity

Application fields

  • Industrial wastewater
  • Urban and residential sewage
  • Wastewater of livestock units
  • Leachate of waste disposal sites
  • Wine cellars, oil mills and other units with wastewater of high fluctuations in volume or in load concentration

Our services

The following are included in our services:

  • Chemical analysis of the wastewater
  • Ground tests
  • Control of the endurance of the plants when in contact to the wastewater, in order to use the suitable plants
  • Study, construction and
  • Technical support during the first phase of function of the plant

Projects in Greece and abroad

Some of the most significan applications until now are the following:

  • Textiles industry, Firma Windelsbleiche in Bielefeld, Germany
  • Steel industry, British Steel, in Newport, England
  • Chemical industry ICI in Birmingham, England
  • Landing runways of the Zurich and Berlin airports
  • Leachate of the toxical waste disposal site Havinghorster Moor in Germany
  • Washing machines of the French railway SNCF in Paris

Smaller installations function successfully in Greece and abroad in:

  • wine cellars
  • oil mills (ideal solution for the problem of the high oxidity and smelly wastewater of oil mills)
  • ελαιοτριβεία, ελαιουργεία (ιδανική λύση στο πρόβλημα της επεξεργασίας του κατσίγαρου)
  • meat-processing industry
  • milk industry
  • restaurants
  • hotels
  • municipalities
  • housing estates and individual private houses

For more information about our projects in Greece and abroad, as well as the names and telephone numbers of the respective persons in charge, please contact us.

Prices and other commercial information

Export price lists and other commercial information such as payment terms, delivery time etc. are available upon request. The same applies also for sales within Greece.