The floating village of Prek Toal in Cambodia is putting the natural filtering power of wetland plants to work by using them to soak up contaminants from their raw sewage. Local floating villages on Tonle Sap lake have flushed human waste directly into the water for years, where bacteria has caused sickness and disease to those who call the lake home. Now, floating Handy Pod toilets supplied by Wetlands Work will soon keep locals healthier by providing an natural, effective and affordable way to cleanse their water from diarrhea and cholera-causing agents.
Prek Toal is one of 200 floating villages on a lake in Cambodia that’s home to 100,000 people. The small town is essentially based on the lake, with all amenities floating, including: houses, schools, grocery stores and police stations. Until now, most of the villagers living on the lake used the water as an open bathroom, allowing human waste to plunge directly into the water. The bacteria in this human waste has been known to cause illnesses; from simple nausea and diarrhea to cholera.
Wetlands Work’s solution to keep Prek Toal healthier is fairly simple- use local plants to filter waste water before dumping it back into the lake. Waste in toilets is first dumped into a pod that contains filtering plants like hyacinths, which has microorganisms attached to its roots that can soak up waste toxins in the water. The powerful microbes cleanse the water up to 99.9999%, removing bacteria like E. coli without using chemicals or power.
The Handy Pods can also be made from local materials, with little cost and environmental impact. Wetlands Work is currently working with WaterAid Cambodia thanks to a grant from Grand Challenges Canada.
Via Fast Co Exist