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biological water treatment

just to add a note of warning. although plants/algae has been shown to be 
able to treat water, the artificially high nutrient levels promotes huge 
biomass production which in turn clog up waterways. some species may also 
gain unfair advantage over others thus eliminating the weaker species.


>Just saw a neat side-story while watching "This Old House".  They are
>doing a project in Florida, and were talking about current efforts
>to save the everglades.   Some researchers involved in the everglades
>work had a long (50 feet or so) trough set up.  They pumped water
>that was rich in nitrates and phosphates (to match the agricultural
>run-off) into one end of the trough.   Over time, various algaes
>and emergent plants grew in the "upstream" part, where nutrient
>levels were higher.  As they went down the trough, the growth changed, and
>by the end, the water was crystal clear, with much lower nutrient levels,
>and very different types of plant and algae.
>It was pretty cool.   Nature definitely knows how to clean water!

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