Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Hydro Fern for water purification

arsenichydroponic vertical culturephytoextractionpteris vittatawater


Arsenic contamination is a problem that affects the waters of many Italian regions. Hydro Fern, is a sustainable alternative solution to current filtering systems which involves the installation of a scalable module for the vertical growth of ferns capable of filtering water under controlled conditions and maintaining constant arsenic removal efficiency.

Technical features

Hydro Fern is a water purification system that provides a modular structure developed vertically, including pipes or tanks connected, containing the water to be treated and ferns. Compared to the well-known phytodepuration tanks it has the advantage of maximising the number of plants and reducing the occupied surface. The objective of this system that exploits the principles of vertical hydroponic culture is the decontamination and recovery of drinking water from springs, wells and thermal waters contaminated with arsenic. The modular structure of the system and the choice of different species according to the type of contamination to be treated, makes Hydro Fern versatile and also suitable for the treatment of rainwater, wastewater and industrial waste.

Possible Applications

The treatable waters are:

  • Drinking water from contaminated springs and wells;
  • Thermal drainage waters to be recovered for irrigation purposes;
  • Meteoric waters;
  • Domestic and industrial wastewater.


  • Eco-sustainable solution (Nature Based Solution), vertically modular structure;
  • Reduction of decontamination costs by 50% compared to current technologies;
  • Reduction of CO2 emissions;
  • No chemical waste production;
  • Use in combination with filter systems;
  • Urban and peri-urban environment improvement.