27. Living Machine
The Living Machine uses the processes of nature to cleanse and recycle the Botanic Garden’s waste water.
Used water from the kitchens and toilets is channelled away into a settlement tank, anaerobic digester, closed aerobic tank and clarifier built into the hillside next to the Living Machine.
From the viewing platform you can see a series of tanks planted with reeds, sedges and willows. These thrive on, and clean, this nutrient-rich waste water. Don’t worry, it doesn’t smell here and the strange gurgling sounds are produced by air that is pumped into the cleaned water to add oxygen. From the Living Machine, the purified water is then soaked up by trees destined to be fuel for the Biomass boiler. Elsewhere, excess rainwater is channelled into the lakes and irrigation water is drawn from 90m deep boreholes under the Great Glasshouse and the Circle of Decision.
Cowlin Construction of Cardiff undertook the Energy Centre building work. Mechanical services were by F.P. Hurley of Pontiets. Electrical services were by Hyder. The wood boiler is by Nordist.