Jeremie Ryan


Video of the Researcher

Lab name




Full name

Jeremie Ryan


Bio and chemical filtration of rainwater for domestic use

Introduce yourself, your experience and your credentials

Hello there my name is Jeremy Ryan. I work here at Green Building Technologies. I’m their on-site trades and a plumber and I’ve had a big hand in putting together the water filtration we have in the building.

Describe your research

Describe your research: Biofiltration of rainwater

The idea is that the pond here is essentially a couple layers with a bunch of water. They’ve got rocks set on top with larger boulders on top of that and then a large
gap for fish.

On the outside we have baskets and the baskets are going to be filled with plants and the plants are going to be a first stage of water filtration meeting. The water comes around in a big ring around the whole outside of the pond through the plant
beds and the plants are going to be eating most of the first bacteria and whatever they might be coming through there.

Whatever gets through there as well as some obviously organic plant matter because plants do leave things behind will be then eaten by the fish. Whatever it doesn’t get caught there will then flow down through and be caught into the gravel because it’s
likely at that size, they are either too big or irrelevant to the fish.

Once it goes past the gravel it just has a porous membrane that the water filters through and it goes down into the bottom of it through a pump and back up and just go through is right back into the pond again. So once that’s finished it just loops over and over and just keeps
getting water cleaner and cleaner.

Describe your research: Chemical filtration of rainwater

This is our water lab. In here we’re doing water filtration for most of the building.  Upstairs we were talking about bio filtration using plants as a filtration medium and this is a more traditional mechanical and chemical method of filtration that we have going on.

It uses the exact same source as the rainwater’s bio filtration upstairs. The chlorinated water just to make sure that nobody is going to end up having anything happen: maybe getting a rash or something else happening is going to the water closets or the toilets if you prefer. That’s all the chlorine really does.

The UV is sent to the hose bibs most of the time, especially the testing hose bibs that
we have in place. The reason why we do that is because it basically kills the bacteria by shining a very bright light at it and actually chemically modifying it so that it can no longer breathe or mutate.

We also have one other system in place right now which is our four tanks here they’re not quite set up yet but when they are set up they will be catching for greener plots which is essentially a bio filtration method installed on our roof.

The green roof plots are going to be full of microgreens or any small plants, maybe potentially even grass depending on how we want to go with that research. Each one of those four plots is going to come down to one of these four tanks and from those we’re going to be able to sample the water and see how quickly it comes through with the buckets there and really tell what is the best green roof type for our climate.

Once we get past all of that we’ve got a few neat guide pieces that we use to test things on our system. We have multiple sensors that are going to be telling us turbidity, pH and conductivity as well as temperature. We also have the opportunity to take samples at many different stages along the way so that we can take that water once we have it send it to a lab or run it through our coli-form analyzer which is essentially a glorified petri dish. We’re just growing the bacteria to see how much is in there and then we can take it from two different spots to see if we have a proper reduction or log of bacterial decontamination.


Institution name

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Type of institution