Plants like reeds, water hyacinth and duckweed that grow in wetlands are able to clean up gray water. Gray water is water that has been used that is not contaminated by sewage, and includes water used for showers or washing dishes. The process of cleaning this water with plants is called phytoremediation.
Plants absorb gray water through their roots and remove contaminants and chemicals. These contaminants are stored in the plants, and can be released in a less harmful state as the plant gives off gasses into the air.
Phytoremediation is a way to filter and recycle gray water while taking advantage of the natural processes offered by plants.
One way is by absorbing excess nutrients from agricultural runoff like fertilizer. Excess nutrients can wreak havok on lake ecosystems, and wetlands are a good way to remove them.
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