Chemical Free, Ecological, Economical Solutions
The new science of ecological engineering is rapidly gaining momentum as the preferred strategy to conventional wastewater treatment all over the world. Initial skepticism and regulatory hurdles are giving way to burgeoning investments by companies and municipalities, increased research activity, and great interest by the public. Established industrial economies such as Sweden and the United States are increasingly investing in ecological engineering. Eastern European countries and the former Soviet Union are turning to ecological engineering to solve their acute pollution problems and for wastewater treatment. At the same time, less-developed countries are investigating inexpensive and effective ways to use ecological engineering to build wastewater treatment infrastructures.
In 2013 the Limoneira Company, the largest producer of lemons and avocados in North America, faced a decision. To continue operating and handling the wastewater from their lemon processing plant, as well as from 350 worker homes, they were required to upgrade their discharge. Initially they looked to conventional systems to meet compliance standards. Yet conventional wastewater treatment has a very high-energy footprint and a high capital cost. Limoneira was strongly motivated towards sustainability, having installed a 5-acre solar field and stated an internal goal of being off grid by 2020.
Eco Lake Solutions was able to offer an alternative to the conventional technology. By retrofitting the existing lagoons using applied ecological design principles, ELS was able to meet the discharge requirements imposed by the Regional Water Quality Control Board at 20% of the costs and with significant (over 50%) energy savings. Four years later Eco Lake Solutions remains involved with the Limoneira Ecological Wastewater Treatment System and the system remains in compliance with the stringent discharge requirements from 2013.
View of Limoneira Eco WasteWater Treament system responsible for treatment of 180,000 gallons daily.