Working With Nature to Clean Water: Dr. John Todd

Episode 131: Dr. John Todd is a pioneer in the field of ecological design. The inventor of the Eco-Machine, John Todd works with nature to heal degraded waste sites often thought irreconcilably damaged. John Todd and his associates have worked on projects on five continents dealing with waterborne waste streams of both domestic sewage and industrial waste.

John believes that there are ways to heal our damaged earth and designs machines that work with nature to reduce the amount of nutrients and pollutants in water and manage and transform them into beneficial forms.

In this episode, John Todd tells us why he travels to the places most people don’t like to go- polluted landfills, contaminated oil fields, and sewage plants. John talks about the first Eco-Machine he designed to mimic the genius of nature and how armed with a bucket and turkey baster, he filled it with life from over a dozen wild environments. When polluted water was poured into the machine, it moved through different tanks on a 10 day journey. The end result? Clean water.

John talks about his project at the Omega Institute where he designed an Eco-Machine that treats up to 52,000 gallons a day of wastewater. The Eco-Machine is located in a beautiful greenhouse that doubles as a classroom, event space and yoga center!

John also talks about his latest project, designing and building a fleet of Ocean Arks. As the Arks travel through the sea or lake, they clean the water, while onboard, students learn about the ocean.

13 Comments on “Working With Nature to Clean Water: Dr. John Todd”

  1. It saddens me that projects like these and people like Dr. Todd do not get more publicity and funding. When I think about how many things we take for granted – like clean running water for example, and do nothing to preserve our sources. One pioneer, no matter how idealistic or genius he is, cannot tip the balance of the scales. We need much more communal awareness as a society to address the problem much more effectively. Dr. Todd’s work might be saving hundreds of lives daily in third-world or developing countries in Southeast Asia and Africa – instead, we bicker about Trump and Brexit…

  2. Thank Jill for interviewing Dr Todd, I really admire him. My heart is full with hope after listening him. I’m an Architect in Mexico and I would love to build Eco-machines as part of ecological buildings.

    • Thank you for your comment, Abriseth. I’m so glad that you feel hopeful. John Todd is inspiring and has so much to teach us. I can’t wait to see photos of your ecological buildings and Eco-machines! Did you get plans from Dr. Todd?

  3. Pingback: How can we clean up and protect our oceans? – Pen & Places

  4. I have seen the Omega eco-machine and have taught about it to graduate wetlands ecology students! I’m very excited about these designs and the possibilities. Unfortunately, I think it would be illegal in my state – Connecticut – to construct such a system inside or outside a private residence. Our public health laws I believe prohibit it! So disappointing.

    One thing about the Omega Institute installation, though, the facility is closed in the winter so I don’t think the eco-machine is operating then. Except for the fact much of it is inside a greenhouse, I wonder if the outside part could function in the winter properly.

    • Hi Cynthia, Thank you for your comment! That’s so great that you’ve seen the Omega Eco Machine in action! I just did another interview with John Todd, which I will post soon! He would be happy to hear that you teach about it.

  5. The uncaring money driven “leaders” and business CEOs create ecological distractors that kill nature & eventually humans make me puke. The soul driven magnificent folks like Dr John make me hopeful. Because some disgusting humans who are willing to corrupt whom-ever, where-ever to line their pockets humanity has been brought to the brink of the 6th extinction event (and it has NOTHING to do with “global warming” which is a New World Order ploy pushed by the corrupt or compromised few).
    We are fortunate there are souls like Dr John Todd who are with us to teach us methods to heal our Mother Earth. My the heavens shine on Dr John with continued blessings. God bless you & those who do your work.

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