Document details

A New Image for the Water Hyacinth

Among environment improving technology transfers is a method of treating sewage by employing aquatic plants to remove pollutants


Last year Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Florida activated a prototype 100,00-gallon-a-day sewage treatment plant using NSTL's water hyacinth technology. The plant is part of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT), being created to provide a site for demonstration of new technological, social and artistic concepts. Among the sponsoring organizations of this project – along with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, NASA and private companies – is the state of Florida, which is studying the possibility of using water-hyacinth technology on a statewide scale. Florida has a need for improvement of its rural sewage treatment procedures, and it is estimated that water hyacinth systems could halve the $330 million cost projected for upgrading the state's sewage facilities by conventional means.


A number of other state and local governments are looking into water hyacinth sewage treatment and there are also several experiments under way to explore the plant's byproduct potential as a source of methane gas or animal feed. For example, United Gas Pipe Line Company is one of the sponsors of the Disney World EPCOT program; in addition to its EPCOT study of separating methane from heat-treated water hyacinths, the company has been considering construction of a pilot plant in Louisiana to investigate large-scale production of methane from a combination of water hyacinths, Bermuda grass and municipal sewage.



Walt Disney World (WDW, Project Future, Disney World), EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), NASA


Source type Magazine
Language en
Document type Feature
Media type text
Page count 2
Pages pp. 92-93


Id 4088
Availability Free
Inserted 2019-01-20