Garden Life Travel

2010 Green Blogging in Ireland – Sustainable Reed Gardens Filter and Clean Gray Water

Kim and Vincent Cleary with Suzy the Dog

Reed bed filtration is becoming a popular wastewater management technique worldwide, both for household use and for large factories and institutions. It is a creative way to reuse gray water and conserves fresh water, reducing the load on energy-consuming wastewater disposal systems. When appropriately managed, grayWind turbine used for water pumping at the reed bed station.     water reuse is incredibly safe and practical with few environmental and health risks.

Glenisk Organic Dairy in Killeigh, Ireland – a family run company – uses this special water purification technique to filter the gray water which exits their organic dairy daily. Visiting this Irish dairy and seeing the reed beds in person was a unique green experience. Below is a video of Vincent Cleary, the Managing Director of Glenisk, and his family, giving me a tour of the reed beds. Note his very adorable little girl is speaking in German; her mother, Kerstin Cleary, is from Germany. Even though she is only two years old, she knows how it all works – quite inspiring.

Each of the individual ponds are filled with reeds. First the water goes through a basic filter to remove large particles as it leaves the factory. As the water traverses the ponds, each pond represents a next level of clean and filtered water, with the plants First pond in the series of reed beds at Glenisk.        being carefully chosen for the reed bed which help to absorb nutrients and help in evapo-transpiration of the water. In the end, the water is clean and filters directly into  the eco-system, allowing reclamation of the water into the life cycle of the environment.


Having a reed bed can save on tons of resources which would normally be used to process the gray water chemically and through machinery. Utilizing a reed bed is an all natural way for factories to do this which saves both money and energy. It is better for the environment as well. A reed bed can be applied to an every day person’s home gray water as well. If you would like to take the next eco-step on your property, reed bed filtration is a fantastic idea and definitely the right thing to do for the environment.

Glenisk has taken the further step of having the pumping station in the reed beds powered with wind power – a wonderful testimony to the Cleary family’s passion for doing things good for the environment.

Thanks to my sponsor for this incredible speaking, blogging, and eco-green adventure to Ireland – Glenisk Organic Dairy. They have been wonderful to partner with and have some astoundingly healthy products, particularly for children and babies.

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