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Environews-Constructed Wetlands Innovations Borrowing a Concept from Nature

By Tenenbaum, David J.

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Book Id: WPLBN0000239057
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 1.8 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005

Title: Environews-Constructed Wetlands Innovations Borrowing a Concept from Nature  
Author: Tenenbaum, David J.
Language: English
Subject: Government publications, United Nations., United Nations. Office for Disarmament Affairs
Collections: Government Library Collection, Disarmament Documents
Publication Date:
Publisher: United Nations- Office for Disarmament Affairs (Unoda)


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Tenenbaum, D. J. (n.d.). Environews-Constructed Wetlands Innovations Borrowing a Concept from Nature. Retrieved from

Government Reference Publication

Excerpt: When it comes to global environmental health problems, few? if any?rank higher than water pollution and lack of sanitation. In developing nations, vast numbers of people lack adequate sanitation. According to Water and Sanitation in the Worlds Cities: Local Action for Global Goals, a March 2003 report by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 83% of African city dwellers lack toilets connected to sewers; for Asias cities, the proportion is 55%. The World Health Organization estimates that as of August 2002, 2.4 billion people had no access to basic sanitation, and 3.4 million people, mostly children, were dying each year from waterrelated diseases. Even in affluent countries, where potable water and sewage treatment are both available, better and/or cheaper treatment is needed for pollution sources including domestic wastewater, runoff and seepage from mines, agricultural runoff, even polluted runoff from giant parking lots and airport runways. Help is on the way, in the form of an idea borrowed from Mother Nature: constructed wetlands, where aerobic and anaerobic zones are deliberately created to allow microbes to attack waste streams. While constructed wetlands can vary from rectangular ponds to naturallooking swamps, the basic principle of each is to emulate nature by creating conditions conducive to the growth of the desired microorganisms, and then giving them enough time to digest, or degrade, the waste. As James Gusek, a consulting engineer with Golder Associates, puts it, ?We have taken Mother Nature and nurtured it in the specific direction we want.?


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