Polluted land and water and how Vetiver can clean Up

Vetiver Cleans Up Contaminated Land and Water

Polluted land and water and how Vetiver can clean Up

Vetiver Cleans Up Contaminated Land and Water

  • Vetiver cleans up contaminated land and water by absorbing high levels of pollutants. In addition to their fibrous, fast growing nature, Vetiver roots have a unique ability to not only tolerate many contaminants but also to absorb them, making it an eminently suitable bio-engineering solution, to treat agricultural, septic tank discharge and heavy metal pollution.

 

  • In Australia septic tank discharge was found to have reduced levels of N by 99% and P by 85% when planted with 5 rows of Vetiver. (Truong and Hart 2001). The trial was so successful that the last 2 rows of Vetiver suffered due to lack of water reaching them

 

  • In China, wastewater from pig farms was shown to have an uptake and purification by Vetiver of Cu and Zn >90%; As and N>75%; Pb is between 30% -71% and P is between 15-58%. ( Liao et al 2003).

 

  • The phyto-remediation properties of Vetiver Grass allow it to be grown in a wide range of normally hostile soil conditions, including saline, acidic, alkaline and soils polluted with heavy metals, making Vetiver an exceptional natural and cost-effective solution to environmental pollution.

Vetiver in the UK

  • Vetiver is a tropical grass and whilst is able to withstand temperatures to -15oC, it is unlikely to grow in the UK as quickly or robustly as it does in Tropical and Mediterranean regions. It is grown in the south of the UK with some success, but has not been utilised specifically to prevent diffuse water pollution or contaminated land. Vetiver will only be active at phytoremediation during the warmer months, but it is hoped that Vetiver will provide some reduction in contaminants through its rhizo-filtration and phyto-stabilsation properties during other periods. Vetiver Grass UK is undertaking extensive trials as part of a PhD Research project to assess the viability of using Vetiver for this purpose. Although we don’t expect to reduce contaminants to the same degree as in the tropics we believe that growing Vetiver in suitable locations in the UK, we can reduce the amount of diffuse water pollution, that at presents costs the UK over £200 million and causes over 1000 incidents annually (EA)

 

  • Vetiver Grass UK supplies plants that are more mature, with a greater root density and more shoots to ensure that they establish quicker in the cooler UK climate.