Liquid Waste management
Sans Souci Beach Resort & Estates will design a drain water system, operated and controlled through the construction of various small and maximum 1.2 meter deep catch water basins or lagoons. Storm water will be collected and filtered through the lagoons and the Living Machine and reused for landscaping and janitorial facilities in the resort. Additionally the controlled release of water into the ocean will help balance the salinity.
Project Schedule
Two areas of sets of lagoons will be constructed to store storm water from the drainage canals and the natural drainage of the property. This will prevent surface water run-off and other water discharge from the subdivision to directly empty into the open sea and pollute the beach area. In this way, water will be utilized to the fullest by recycling and naturally treated before discharging to the open sea for its needed fresh water intake to maintain its salinity. These lagoons will serve as a fishpond, small water falls, and irrigation for the landscape.
A Living Machine TM is an effective and economical system for biological treatment of sewage and high strength industrial wastewater.
Living Machines incorporate and accelerate the processes nature uses to purify water. With the help of sunlight and a managed environment, a diversity of organisms including bacteria, plants, snails and fish break down and digest organic pollutants. Depending
on the climate, Living Machines can be housed in a protective greenhouse, under light shelter or in the open air. Finished water from a Living Machine is clean enough for re-use applications such as irrigation or toilet flush water.
Dr. John Todd, an internationally recognized biologist now with Ocean Arks International, pioneered the development of Living Machines. For this work, Dr. Todd has been awarded the Chico Mendes Memorial Award from the U.S. EPA in 1989, the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Award from the White House in 1990, the Discover Award for Technological Innovation in 1991, the Chrysler Award for Industrial Design in 1994, and in 1996, the Environmental Merit Award from the U.S. EPA.
Living Machines effectively treat both sewage and high strength organic waste. Applications include:
pre-treatment of industrial waste to eliminate sewer surcharges;
advanced treatment to recycle wastewater for irrigation, aqua culture, toilet flushing, truck washing and other uses;
treatment for municipalities, developments, resorts and industrial parks; and on-site sludge treatment.
Advantages of a Living Machine include:
Living Machines enable customers to recycle treated water or discharge to the environment. Clients realize significant annual cost savings by eliminating sewer surcharges, minimizing sludge disposal costs and reducing water purchases;
Living Machines are biologically diverse and can treat a wide variety of waste streams. They are naturally resistant to drastic changes or "shock loads" in the waste stream. Operators enjoy ease of operation and highly reliable treatment performance;
Sludge handling and disposal expenses are significantly lower than for conventional technologies. In Living Machines, sludge is consumed in the process, greatly reducing sludge quantity compared with conventional biological treatment. Optional on-site sludge composting with reed beds minimizes sludge handling costs;
Particularly for higher-strength waste streams that require treatment to re-use standards, Living Machines typically offer lower initial capital costs and lower annual operating costs than conventional alternatives. They can also be designed to accommodate ready expansion in future years. This allows owners to match capital outlays with the growth of the business or community;
Living Machines are beautiful by nature and environmentally restorative by function. They are inspiring examples of natural systems for pollution control and industrial ecology.
Following an initial site visit and conceptual proposal with estimated costing, Living Technologies provides preliminary engineering, permitting assistance, final engineering, construction on a fixed-price basis, biological ramp-up, operator training and on-going operations support. Living Technologies can also operate installed systems on a contract basis.
The Living Machine at Sans Souci Beach Resort & Estates can be similar to the one operating at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland. A green house is likely not necessary in the climate conditions of the Philippines.
On the 13th of October 1995 Jonathan Porritt opened Europe's first Living Machine at the Findhorn Foundation. This ecologically engineered sewage treatment plant is treating sewage from 330 people living at the Findhorn Foundation and is providing a research and educational facility to develop this technology throughout Europe.
Living Machines treat wastewater based on a 'whole systems' approach to biological technology. They utilize a set of sequenced, complete ecologies. Treatment can be taken to advanced standards in cost effective projects which are reliable, robust and aesthetically pleasing. The approach represents a shift from high energy, chemically intensive treatment, to the adoption of the principles of ecological engineering.
Diverse communities of bacteria, algae, micro-organisms, numerous species of plants and trees, snails, fish and other living creatures interact as whole ecologies in tanks and bio-filters. Depending on the climate, Living Machines can be located outdoors, in protective greenhouses, or under light shelter.
In the Living Machine system, raw sewage and "grey" water arrive in a greenhouse containing a series of tanks. These contain species which break down the sewage naturally as it moves through the tanks. In many systems, there are by-products of fish and plants being produced that can then be sold. Living Machines mirror processes that occur in the natural world, but more intensively. At the end of the series of tanks, the resulting water is pure enough to discharge directly into the sea or to be recycled. The technology is not only capable of meeting tough new sewage outflow standards, but uses no chemicals, and has a relatively inexpensive capital cost attached.
Current industrial projects in North America involve the re-use of the treated wastewater for non-drinking uses within production facilities. These uses include washing, irrigation, boiler make-up, etc.
The research behind this technology has been carried by Dr. John Todd, an eminent Canadian biologist, through the non-profit research organization - Ocean Arks International of Falmouth, Massachusetts. For his work in pioneering the development of Living Machines, Dr. Todd has received a number of honors including the Teddy  Roosevelt Conservation Award from the White House in 1990, and the Chrysler Award for Industrial Design in 1994.
This will vary according to circumstances. At Findhorn for example, the objective is to treat sewage to advanced wastewater treatment (tertiary) standards. The following table provides information on the influent and effluent of the Living Machine at Findhorn at present
1.BOD before treatment is 250 mg/l after less than10 mg/l
2.TSS before treatment160 mg/l after less than 10 mg/l
3.TKN before treatment 40 mg/l after less than10 mg/l
4.NH4 before treatment 50 mg/l after less than 2 mg/l
5.NO3 before treatment 0 mg/l after less than 5 mg/l
6.TP before treatment 7 mg/l after less than 5 mg/l
1. BOD = Biological Oxygen Demand, (the oxygen being consumed by the wastewater)
2. TSS = Total Suspended Solids (the level of solids suspended in the water)
3. TKN = A measure of the nitrogen level in the water
4. NH4 = Ammonia levels in the water
5. NO3 = Levels of nitrate in the water. The system converts ammonia into nitrates and then to nitrogen gas
6. TP = Total phosphorous levels
Again using the Findhorn example, the Living Machine is housed in a single-span greenhouse, approximately 10 Meters (M) wide by 30 M long. The flow is coming from the Park at Findhorn with a loading of approximately 330 person equivalents. In other words about 65m3 waste water per day.
Anaerobic Primary
The first component of the treatment process is 3 anaerobic bioreactors buried outside the greenhouse. The function of this component is to reduce significantly the organic material and inorganic solids in the wastewater. During operation, no oxygen will be present in the wastewater, promoting the growth of anaerobic and facultative bacterial populations.
Closed Aerobic Reactor
Effluent from the anaerobic primary, flows into an closed aerobic tank in the greenhouse. Gases from the closed aerobic, pass through an filter system to eliminate odors.
Open Aerobic Reactors
The four aerobic tanks have diaphragm aerators and are planted with plant species with large root masses on floating plant racks. The BOD and TSS is reduced at this stage and ammonia nitrified.
The primary function of the plants is to provide favorable environments for enhanced microbial activity. Secondary functions include nutrient removal, metal sequestering, pathogen destruction and some control of gas exchanges. The main objective is to have a healthy and diverse sequence of ecosystems present. The wide variety of plant species filling ecological niches in the system is a key to the robust nature of natural treatment systems. The ecological network of species creates internal biological redundancies compared with a purely microbial system, or a mono culture duckweed system. This gives the potential for improved efficiency and greater resilience.
The Clarifiers
After the aerobic tanks, a clarifier settles solids which are returned to the anaerobic primary. In those tanks you may see tiny water creatures such as Cyclops living in the water. They perform an important part in both treatment and creating a complex food chain
The Ecological Fluidized Beds
The three Ecological Fluidized Beds in each train are filled with light rock media. For aerobic operation, air lift pumps raise the water from the bottom of the fluidized bed to the surface, where the water flows down through the bed. Recycle rates can be varied up to 100 times the flow rate through the component.
The aerobic operation provides reductions in BOD and TSS and nitrification. For the anaerobic operation of the fluidized beds for denitrification, mechanical pumps circulate water up through the bed. The fluidized beds are planted and benthic animals graze the
The dissolved oxygen level in the wastewater is close to zero after the clarifier. The first fluidized beds are run anaerobically for denitrify. The second fluidized bed is run aerobically using air lift pumps to further nitrify any remaining ammonia in the waste
stream. The third and final fluidized bed is run anaerobically for final denitrification and polishing.
The underlying concept behind the design, involves rapid flows of water by recycling through the media filled zones. The key attributes of an Ecological Fluidized Bed are:
Stable high surface area micro-environment sites for bacteria.
Ultra rapid exchanges across biological surfaces.
Direct NH4/NO3 uptake.
Nitrification and denitrification cycles.
The support of higher plant life and root systems within the media and in the aquatic environments.
The biology is managed as a balanced ecosystem. The levels of dissolved oxygen, and carbon to nitrogen ratios, as well as recycle rates and bioaugmentation, are adjusted with the overall objective of reducing levels of BOD, ammonia, total nitrogen, fecal coliform and solids.
The Greenhouse
The greenhouse is built from a galvanized steel frame, clad in high performance glazing. The walls are 10 mm polycarbonate. The roof is composed of high light transmission panels, with good thermal efficiency.
The Living Machine is designed to treat approximately 65 M3/day in an aesthetically pleasing greenhouse. The scale of the components provides data and operating experience to wastewater treatment professionals and engineers, which will demonstrate that cost effective and reliable treatment can be provided by Living Machine technology.
This is a new means of treating domestic and industrial sewage, using biologically and environmentally sound methods to a higher standard than current EC standards. A Living Machine builds on the reed bed principle, but accelerates the process and uses
considerably less land, as the facility is totally enclosed in a large greenhouse. As a pioneering pilot project, this facility is collecting data in order to satisfy local and national government bodies that such technology can be fully adopted in the UK. Local water and river authorities are supporting the project, as are Scottish Natural Heritage.
The Findhorn Foundation is already major educational center which regularly hosts visitors from throughout the UK and overseas, therefore the establishment of such a treatment facility here will allow the technology to be seen and experienced by a wide variety of people.
Half of the funding for the project has been provided by the European Regional Development Fund, under the Highlands and Islands Objective 1 Program (1994-1999). Funds have also been provided in grants and donations from Gaia Villages Trust, Denmark; The Paul Trust, Glasgow; The Lyndhurst Settlement, London.
There are 20 Living Machines currently operating and/or in design. They include:
Location - Waste - Flow (gallons per day) - Year of construction
Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island - Sewage - 16,000gpd - 1989
Paws Inc., Indiana - Sewage - 3,000 gpd - 1990
The Body Shop, Toronto - Sewage - 3,000gpd - 1993
Ballanger Creek, Maryland - Sewage - 50,000gpd - 1993
City of San Francisco, CA - Sewage - 50,000gpd - 1994
Audobon Society, Florida - Sewage - 7,500gpd - 1994
Wyong, NSW, Australia - Industrial Wastewater - 200,000gpd - 1995
Henderson Foods, Nevada - Industrial Wastewater - 32,000gpd - 1995
Findhorn, Scotland - Sewage - 18,000gpd - 1995
The Body Shop,U.K - Production Wastewater - 13,000gpd - 1996
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For Inquiries e-mail to:


Sans Souci Beach Resort and Estates

Matthias Hanika
Munting Buhangin Beach
Puerto Galera
Mindoro Occidental, Philippines
contact (0998) 550 4228