Water Purification using Organisms

Water purification and treatment systems are relevant for fresh drinking water, water that are made suitable for drinking, wastewater treatment and reuse and other uses. The variety of methods that exist to treat water and improve its quality are used globally today in a very widespread manner – not only in large scale water treatment plants but also in private domestic use with small designated systems. Water purification using organisms is a great natural method to treat mainly used water.

The implementing of purification using organisms is known and works in practice for many years now, the principals of the method are natural and occur in nature all the time regardless of human intervention. But the use of this type of biological water treatment method is becoming more known and also more common due to the overall understanding that mankind needs to find more sustainable and ecological ways to live, treat our waste and co-exist with other systems on the planet.

The participants of purification using organisms

Basically, 3 types of organisms participate in water purification using organisms:

  • Water plants – special species that act as purifying agents.
  • Bacteria – colonies of “good” bacteria contribute to the process.
  • Fish – These are used mainly to keep the purification environment in a maintained and optimal state.

Fish are not always used in biological water purifier systems, their use depends on the actual system used, the water quality coming into the treatment system etc. But whenever fish are used in water systems (fresh water and used water), if there is a sudden high contamination, the fish will die and be an indication for the problem.

Creating a biological purification system using organisms

In most cases, a water purification using organisms system will be in the form of a natural wetland, green basin or lake, it is also possible to have the system in a regular treatment pool or reservoir site or even specially designed tanks. The most common way by wetland will either be a constructed wetland that is built specifically to be a purification using organisms system or an existing environment where water purification takes place – It can also be water to improve or support and existing eco-system or water environment.

In terms of household water treatment, purification using organisms is very common for greywater recycling and in a less common practice for ecological clean swimming pools. For a greywater recycling system a small wetland or “green basin” is created in a pool or tank and the same process happens on a small scale.

How the organisms purify the water

All the participants in the purification using organisms process act together and live as a living, breathing and changing eco-system. The process is natural and basically involves no chemicals disinfectants; it can include a filtration process to maximize the results.


water plants contribute to purification using organisms by absorbing toxins into their root systems as nutrients and releasing important oxygen to further purification and for he bacteria colonies.


Bacteria colonies develop independently and are of course encouraged, these “eat” various contaminants and also remove the sludge from the bottom of the wetland.


The fish are not essential to the actual purification using organisms process but they are important in keeping the wetland in optimal condition for the purification process. Fish eat the algae from the surface and inside the water, they reduce mosquitoes and pests. There’s a need to use different species of fish to cover all the depth zones in a water purification using organisms system.

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