Sphagnum Peat Moss - Why It Works So Well
Edward Festa, Joan Brooks, PhD and Jeffery Festa developed the Eco-Pure Waste Water Systems 300 Series Peat Filter throughout 1998. The system was designed based on the research conducted at the University of Maine during the 1980's and 1990's and especially the research conducted by Dr. Brooks.
Throughout her professional career, Dr. Brooks dedicated herself to study the use of sphagnum peat moss as a wastewater treatment media. In addition, Dr. Brooks researched the influence of fungus on the process of wastewater treatment.
In her paper Pollution Abatement with Peat Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, Dr. Brooks concludes:
“On adverse sites, where the use of conventional subsurface soil adsorption systems does not provide
acceptable levels of treatment, sphagnum peat moss may be used as an economical method of onsite wastewater treatment. The peat system, when properly designed and constructed, is relatively simple to install, requires minimal energy and maintenance, and provides a high quality effluent without additional disinfection”.
Disinfection capabilities may be the most important aspect in using sphagnum peat moss as a wastewater treatment media. Throughout her research Dr. Brooks has identified dozens of species of fungi existing in sphagnum peat moss. Most notably recurring was the recovery of the penicillium fungus. Pennicillium is the pre-cursor of the penicillin anti-biotic.
Throughout her research career utilizing sphagnum peat moss as a treatment media, Dr. Brooks consistently documented BOD5 reductions of > 90%, Total Suspended Solids reductions of > 85% and Fecal Coliform reductions of > 99%.
The following research papers by Dr. Joan Brooks provide a better understanding of the disinfection properties of sphagnum peat moss:
- Pollution Abatement with Peat Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, Joan L. Brooks, Ph.D., Department of Civil Engineering, University of Maine
- Fungi Isolated From the Sphagnum Peat Moss Wastewater Treatment SystemnJoan L. Brooks, Ph.D., Department of Civil Engineering, University of Mainen Larry M. Zibilske, Department of Soil Science, University of Maine
- The Utilization of Peat in Onsite Wastewater Disposal Systems: Interim Project Report nJoan L. Brooks, Ph.D., et.al. Department of Civil Engineering, University of Maine
- An Update on the Use of Peat Filters for On-Site Wastewater TreatmentJohn A.McKee, M.Sc., P.Eng. and Michael Connolly, H.B.Sc.