Port of Portland Begins Installation of Living Machine®, Ecological Wastewater Recycling System in L
The Living Machine® system is a proprietary, on-site ecological wastewater treatment approach that produces quality recycled water out of both gray and black water without the chemicals, odor, offensive by-products or high energy usage required by conventional systems.
As part of its ongoing focus on sustainable practices, the Port decided to build its new offices within a new seven-story parking garage that was already in Port expansion plans, and design the new three-story, 205,000 square foot office building as a showcase for sustainable practices.
“The Port of Portland is committed to incorporating sustainable practices in all of our operations,” said Stan Watters, Director of Development Services and Information Technology at the Port. “We believe that creating a sustainable, environmentally progressive building at the front door of our region helps communicate greater Portland’s green thinking ethic and is simply the right thing to do.
“The Living Machine is truly a centerpiece for the comprehensive green building strategy we have initiated for this entire project,” added Watters. “The Living Machine® system is also an important part of our effort to obtain LEED Gold certification for this building.”
The Port of Portland had multiple objectives for the wastewater system in its new headquarters. It had to be sustainable, cost-effective, attractive, and allow reuse, but above all, it had to provide advanced wastewater treatment. The Living Machine® system will treat up to 5,000 gallons of wastewater a day to a quality suitable for re-use in toilet flushing and then use UV light to ensure no bacterial contamination before it is pumped back up to the office.
“What the Port of Portland is doing is really groundbreaking,” said William Kirksey, Senior Vice President, Worrell Water Technologies. “Their new office building will show how even large-scale commercial building design and development can be achieved with minimal impact by tapping into natural energy systems, such as daylight harvesting and natural water processes.”
Other green features planned for the building include a 10,000 foot square eco/green roof, a ground source heating and cooling system, active/passive radiant ceiling panels, daylighting for the office and garage, and water efficient fixtures.
The Living Machine® system at the Port of Portland is designed to fit within a 700 square foot area in the lobby. “Port office visitors and employees will only see lush vegetation in packed gravel, unaware that underneath are holding tanks, or cells, that are alternately flooding and draining to create multiple tidal cycles each day for water treatment and recycling” said Mr. Kirksey.
Architecture firm Zimmer Gunsul Frasca is working with Worrell Water Technologies to ensure the Living Machine® system is visually and aesthetically appealing. “The Living Machine® system is the single most impressive green strategy of the building,” said Doug Sams, project architect and associate partner at ZGF Architects LLP. “It hasn’t been done on a building of this size in Oregon. It supports the Port’s larger environmental goals and showcases to others how sustainable principles can be applied in large commercial settings.” Hoffman Construction Company serves as the General Contractor.
Mr. Kirksey points out that “an important aspect of the Living Machine® system is that there is no surface water, ensuring no odors, nor any potential for accidental contact with partially treated water or the development of a mosquito breeding habitat.”
How Does the Living Machine® System Work?
The Living Machine® engineered tidal wetland system combines the compact footprint of traditional wastewater treatment technologies with the energy efficiency of conventional constructed wetlands. Site wastewater is collected underneath in a primary tank and pumped into a series of wetland basins. The wetland basins are alternately drained and filled in a manner analogous to natural tidal wetlands providing oxygen and nutrients for microorganisms which live in the wetland and naturally treat the wastewater. The treated water may then be recycled for purposes such as landscape irrigation, toilet flushing, industrial processes, washing equipment or animal areas, landscape water features (e.g. fish ponds, waterfalls) and other uses. For more information, go to www.livingmachines.com.
About Worrell Water Technologies
Worrell Water Technologies provides ecological wastewater treatment and water purification technologies. The company has an active research and development department, which has dedicated years to provide the means to recycle, purify and replenish our most essential natural resource – water. Worrell Water’s flagship products include the Living Machine® system, a proven ecological wastewater treatment system, and HydroSecure™, the only water purification system developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of State, and Secret Service, that provides the ultimate level of control, safety and security for households and commercial buildings. Headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, Worrell Water has a portfolio of proprietary intellectual property and a diverse professional, engineering and research staff. For additional information and photos of the company’s products, visit www.worrellwater.com.