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Guilford County Schools, Greensboro, NC

When building its much-needed new High School and Middle School, Guilford County, North Carolina, was faced with the prospect of spending $4 million in construction costs just to connect to the nearest municipal wastewater treatment plant. The school board and taxpayers of Guilford County decided to invest in an onsite system that would make their new schools a showcase of sustainable practices and produce significant savings. In the forefront of the school system’s design strategy was a “holistic water cycle” in which they chose to feature a Living Machine® system.


The Hybrid Wetland Living Machine® designed for Guilford is comprised of horizontal flow and tidal flow wetland cells, which naturally treat the school’s wastewater. All water collected from the campus is treated by the system, goes through disinfection and ultrafiltration and then goes right back into use irrigating three athletic fields and re-charging the aquifer. 


  • Water savings of over 2 million gallons per year.
  • The school district saved around $4 million in construction costs.
  • The Living Machine® system provides valuable on-site educational opportunities for the students - a living laboratory for biology, chemistry, and environmental science classes.
  • Treated rainwater from campus roofs provides 100% of water required for toilet flushing.
  • The school's athletic fields have been lush and green year-round, despite recent droughts.