Bamboo for Water Purification

I am continuing with this water purification series and everything about water! I briefly went into Phytodepuration, so now we are going into the different benefits of different plants used in this process. My last blog post on hemp was controversial. Bamboo is a plant that is known as being one of the fastest growing plants on Earth. Additionally considered as Lucky and is a big part of Feng Shui.


Bamboo is an in the subfamily of Bambusoideae and the grass subfamily of PoaceaeSome species of Bamboo can grow 91 cm or 36 inches in a twenty-four hour period, that’s a rate of almost 4 cm (1.6 in) an hour (a growth around 1 mm every 90 seconds, or 1 inch every 40 minutes). Bamboo is known for being the world’s tallest plant and the tallest grass species because of a unique rhizome-dependent system. Which is one of the reasons why bamboo is an excellent choice for Phytodepuration,


Sustainable Technologies found a method called AFADS.  Anaerobic + Phyto-depuration + Aeration + Solar Distillation is their equation for neutral CO2 Emissions in the Food Industry tackling wastewater.

Bamboo grows four times faster than most plants as well as takes in more carbon than trees. Additionally bamboo will reduce our extreme pressure on the forest by being a substitute alternative for wood in furniture, floor panels, fiber panels, and many other products. Bamboo’s high intake of water makes it a good choice of Phyto-depuration. Consequently, wastewater treaterd using bamboo can then be taken for ferti-irrigation.

  • Up to 100 ton/year/ ha of dry biomass 373 tons of CO2 fixed ha/year (1)


Frédéric Panfili of France’s Phytorem is the project’s scientific manager. This system is designed to use Phyto-depuration to treat greywater and blend it into the surrounding landscape.

“From an environmental point of view, the discharge of water containing high amounts of organic matter in aquatic media can lead to excess oxygen consumption, favouring the proliferation of anoxic micro-organisms, causing bad odours and, in extreme cases, the death of fish.“- Frédéric Panfili (2)

This system, in particular, is cleaning the greywater from Délifruits factory near Valence, in France, which produces soft drinks.


He also said why they chose bamboo:

“We chose bamboo because it has a very dense root system. It is also a fast-growing plant, among the most productive terrestrial plants in the world, and it is a rustic plant – it can resist many environmental stresses, including too little or too much water, or extremely low temperatures. In addition, as compared to other vegetal biomass, the bamboo biomass has many interesting properties, especially high heating value. So the biomass produced during the wastewater treatment can be used locally as a boiler fuel, to heat administrative buildings or schools, for example.” (2) 

This project took off and caused multiple other systems in wastewater management plants in Europe to do the same process.


Up to this point in the series, we focused on grey-water or harvested water systems. let’s go somewhere closer for most people our faucets.

I want to give a quick disclaimer, World Permaculture Association or myself personally Giuseppe Tallarico don’t sell purification systems, or get any affiliate commissions from any water purification systems. My suggestions are simple suggestions based on science and experience.

Looking at Bamboo Charcoal Filters available for purchase on Amazon, most seem to remove ammonia, lead, mercury, cadmium, copper, chlorine, and chlorides from the water. The filters are super cost effective and don’t require massively expensive in-home filtration systems. The Bamboo Charcoal doesn’t leave any residue or bad taste to the water. They cost between five dollars and fifty dollars depending on brand and quantity.


Who doesn’t love a Do- It- Yourself project? Especially when it’s going to provide fresh clean drinking water. I even have a special tip on what to do with the used charcoal filters once you have to replace them!

First, you will need to gather your supplies a glass pitcher, bamboo charcoal sticks, tap water, and a pot.

  1. Boil the Bamboo Charcoal Sticks for at least ten minutes.
  2. Once it has boiled for ten minutes remove from the pot of water.
  3. When it’s dry place in the glass pitcher along with the tap water.


These instructions are generally speaking, (if the instructions differ on the Charcoal Sticks you buy then please follow those instructions). One stick will last up to four months of purifying water (this also will vary by manufacturer) but then could be used as deodoriser, or in your soil as biochar for water retention.

A few other mind-blowing tricks for these bamboo charcoal sticks are AIR FILTRATION: Bamboo absorbs harmful chemicals and substances from the air as well as ELECTROMAGNETIC SHIELDING: many electrical appliances emit electromagnetic radiation that can raise your body temperature and cause backaches.

Bamboo Charcoal absorbs this radiation, helping to improve the environment in your home and office. 

You can also put a Charcoal stick in the Crisper drawer in your fridge to keep your produce fresher longer and fight against bacteria, fungi, and harmful chemicals.


I have said this over and over again water is life and, I’ll say it AGAIN! We need to make massive changes to water purification, water usage, teaching and promoting Water Recycling! Phytodepuration and growing hemp and bamboo are going to fight water poluttion, but also recycling our wood, paper, and plastic products are going to continue our efforts with plastic pollution, desertification, and deforestation.

  1. A. Rosato 2009 [email protected]

Giuseppe Tallarico

He is a versatile and results-oriented Agronomist specializing in Permaculture, Food Security and Environmental Management Systems. He is the founder and General Manager of the World Permaculture Association. He is a PRI of Australia accredited teacher. He is the Head of the Urban Permaculture Laboratory Educational Center. He manages the Regenerative Agriculture consulting company, Rigenera. He is the co-creator of Permamindfulness®. He is the Director assistant and the Quality Manager of Flora. Additionally he holds an MSc Degree with First Class Honors in Agriculture Sciences. He is dedicated to consulting large scale farms so they can convert to a more sustainable and Regenerative Agriculture to achieve a greener earth for all.

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