New igloo-like structures are appearing in waste treatment facilities in the US as their water saving abilities help to extend the lifespan of the installations.
The devices are an attempt to cope with areas where the local population has outgrown the sewage treatment capabilities.
Each dome contains multiple layers – like the skin of an onion – which increases the surface area that comes into contact with the water to be treated.
Useful bacteria can grow on this surface, consuming pollutants from the water at greater levels than might be achieved through mechanical means.
Normal water saving processes used in sewage farms involve mechanically agitating the water to encourage the removal of pollutants by bacteria.
However, the Bio-Domes – or ‘poo-gloos’ as they are nicknamed – offer an inexpensive way of achieving results that would normally cost millions of dollars.
Poo-gloo was the original name used to refer to the domes during development, but manufacturer Wastewater Compliance Systems says Bio-Dome “isn’t quite as fun; but it’s much more versatile”.