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Furman University, Greenville, SC

Furman University, located in Greenville, SC, is a Liberal Arts college with a strong culture of conservation, both in its curriculum and campus operations. The University's cutting edge "Sustainability Master Plan" went into effect in November 2009, when a comparison of alternative waste treatment systems quickly established that the Living Machine® was the most energy-efficient option, with the lowest life cycle costs. The University’s goal of exceeding LEED requirements for their new sustainable building, the Charles H. Townes Center for Science, was easily fulfilled by the system. 


Five thousand gallons of wastewater are mined from a campus sewer, collected in an underground primary settling tank and pumped into the Living Machine®. The system's tidal flow wetlands perfectly mimic the natural processes found in coastal wetlands. Throughout several fill and drain cycles, the wastewater is cycled between cells, where it is oxygenated. After treatment and disinfection by UV light, the water is reused inside the Townes Center for toilet flushing. 


  • Highly efficient water reuse.
  • The Charles H. Townes Center for Science exceeds LEED requirements.
  • The system’s greenhouse provides a thriving, hands-on classroom for students, making it the ideal  location for Furman’s Living/Learning  labs.
  • The treatment process takes place below the wetland surface, keeping wastewater out of reach and creating a controlled environment for student research.
  • Successful joint research and development projects between the Living Machine® Systems team, Furman professors and students are ongoing.