At the Powdermill Nature Center you will find a fully operational, one-of-a-kind “Marsh Machine.” The Marsh Machine is a filtration system that takes wastewater produced in the nature center (from bathrooms, kitchen use, etc.) and filters it through a series of systems and ultimately produces water that is pure enough for native wild brook trout to live in. Suspicious? It’s true. The system is housed in an indoor greenhouse with a variety of plants, and works very similarly to a natural wetland. All wastewater enters the marsh machine and gets filtered through the plants. It’s a closed-loop system. The recycled water is then returned back into the nature center for use in non-potable functions.
Powdermill also recycles this water directly to one of its main exhibits, the “Living Stream.” Here, the water becomes home to native brook trout. It’s an excellent example of just how well the system is purifying the water.
In 2007 the Powdermill nature center used sustainable building technologies to expand its building to offer additional educational opportunities. It now offers s second multi-purpose classroom, a permanent exhibit hall, special exhibits gallery, an outdoor classroom/courtyard, and, restrooms which use the recycled wastewater. The Powdermill nature center is open to the public and welcomes school field trips.
To learn more on the Powdermill Nature Reserve and the Marsh Machine, visit powdermill.org