It’s Alive! Recycling Wastewater With a Living Machine®

The Port of Portland’s headquarters building features an onsite ecological wastewater treatment system that mimics natural, tidal wetland processes. The system recycles water from sinks, showers, and toilets through a series of constructed wetlands for reuse in the building’s toilets and cooling tower.

The system is the largest commercial office building application of the Living Machine® in the western United States and the first one installed in Portland. The system uses a series of wetland cells, or basins, that are filled with special gravel and plants. As wastewater moves through the system, the cells are alternately flooded and drained to create multiple tidal cycles each day, resulting in high quality wastewater treatment. The system saves 360,000 gallons of water each year and along with the building’s other water efficiency features contributes to an overall water savings of 75 percent compared to similar buildings of its size.

Dorothy Sperry, Environmental Affairs Manager, 503.415.6642

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Port of Portland Headquarters