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Reviving urban waterways with floating wetlands, with Galen Fulford from Biomatrix Water

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Welcome back friends and family to this ongoing series on waterway regeneration. In the past three episodes I focused on marine regeneration through conservation as well as farming. Today we’re going to take a look at fresh water systems and specifically, how to decontaminate them through biological methods. I’ll be sure to put a link to that interview in the show note on the website in case you missed it. 

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Some of you may remember an interview I did with Tom Duncan about his floating wetlands and how they can be used to clean up excessive nutrients and pollutants back in season 1. Today I’ll be expanding on that technique since it´s gained a lot of traction and floating islands are popping up all over the world to help deal with contaminated rivers, lakes, and ponds. I’ll be sure to put a link to that interview in the show note on the website in case you missed it. 

For this episode I reached out to Galen Fulford, the managing director at Biomatrix Water, a biological technology company working on solutions for waterway and wastewater treatment based in Moray, Scotland. 

In this interview, Galen explains the science behind waterway contamination evaluation and the calculations they do to determine the restoration approach and techniques that are appropriate for each site. He also breaks down how their floating wetland systems work and how they compare and differ from traditional wetlands in the way they decontaminate water and provide habitat and sanctuaries for wildlife. We also explore the challenges that installing floating wetlands in urban environments can entail as well as some of the novel solutions in engineering that Biomatrix Water have developed to help their installations withstand events like floods and heavy contamination loads. 

This is a great episode for people who really want to understand the biology and engineering behind some of the most promising natural waterway remediation techniques being pioneered today. Make sure you listen all the way till the end too when Galen explains how these floating wetland systems are being applied to ecological sewage treatment and municipal water purification.


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