Skip to content
Culture & Religion


John Todd, and Nancy Todd of Massachusetts have a lot to teach Designers about integrated design, and waste water treatment systems.

About Eco-Machines John Todd Ecological DesignAn Eco-Machine™, can be a tank based system traditionally housed within a greenhouse or a combination of exterior constructed wetlands with Aquatic Cells inside of a greenhouse . The system often includes an anaerobic pre-treatment component, flow equalization, aerobic tanks as the primary treatment approach followed by a final polishing step, either utilizing Ecological Fluidized Beds or a small constructed wetland. The size requirements are entirely dependent on the waste flow, usually determined during our preliminary engineering phase and site visit. The Eco-Machine™ is a beautiful water garden that can be designed to provide advanced treatment. The Eco-Machine functions similarly to a facultative pond with both aerobic and anoxic treatment zones, only instead of a body of water, the process occurs within individual tanks, creating independent treatment zones. A robust ecosystem is created in the Eco-Machine between the plants, microbial species and distinct treatment zones. Within the Eco-Machine, all the major groups of life are represented, including microscopic algae, fungi, bacteria, protozoa, and zooplankton, on upward to snails, clams, and fishes. Higher plants, including shrubs and trees, are grown on adjustable industrial strength fiberglass racks suspended within the system. The result is an efficient and refined wastewater treatment system that is capable of achieving high quality water without the need for hazardous chemicals. John Todd Ecological DesignThe Eco-Machine can be designed to function, and resemble, a baffled “river” through the creation of eddies, countercurrents, and contact zones in which a diversity of life will arise. The outlet from the last tank may be equipped with an effluent filter, similar to the ones installed in septic tanks. This will prevent the discharge of unwanted solids, most likely plant detritus, to the polishing component. Nitrogen will be removed in anoxic zone of the Eco-Machine through a process called de-nitrification. If the rate of de-nitrification in the Eco-Machine is insufficient, a portion of the effluent may be recycled back to the anaerobic reactor with an ample supply of carbon. Additional removal of nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients may be achieved through plant assimilation and other microorganisms.


Up Next