Description Of The Root Zone Method

The Root Zone Method is a patented natural method for Wastewater and Sludge Treatment. The technique is based on the self-regulative processes of active soil systems.

Soil, the most active bioreactor of nature, possesses the necessary properties to contain, concentrate, prepare and activate the pollutants, which in turn get decomposed by micro-organisms. This results in a contact area for wastewater 40 times greater than conventional land treatment systems.

Wastewater flows through a soil matrix planted with specialized and adapted strains of reeds (Phragmites australis) which are contained in an impermeable polymeric membrane.

The active co-operation between soil, roots and micro-organisms guarantees highly efficient biochemical reactions. This makes it possible even for highly toxic substances to be decomposed by the Root Zone Method.

Schema of the Root Zone System


The reeds are adapted to the specific treatment needs of each type of pollutant. Their root zone system provides oxygen to the micro-organisms and increases the hydraulic conductivity of the soil. Only through this combination biochemical activity of soil increases. The mosaic aerobic and anaerobic areas build between the roots bring high effectiveness in pollutants decomposition, exceeding existing norms.

In these conditions bacteria density is up to 100 times greater than in technical systems. It is therefore capable of treating a wide range of pollutants. Up to 100 billion bacteria occur in 1g of soil belonging to 10,000 different bacteria species.

This is how large quantities of widely differing organic substances can be decomposed in a restricted space. The system has the capacity to adjust to wide fluctuations in effluent concentration and composition.

The Root Zone Method has been developed by Professor KICKUTH and first applied in Germany in 1974. The technology is protected by 40 international patents.


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