iMETland at European Researchers Night

October 20, 2017

In the framework of the European Researchers Night 2017, a model simulating the purification and re-use of the wastewater from the houses through the metland was built.


The model is based on a 120 cm by 80 cm piece of fiberboard and it represents a small village. To make the substructure for the landscape, extruded polystyrene foam was cut and shaped with a hot wire cutter. Polystyrene sections were attached to the baseboard and each other with polyvinyl acetate glue. Once the glue of the major landscape piece was dry, cracks and seams were filled in with polystyrene putty. This putty and the extruded polystyrene were sanded down to make smooth.


Afterward the baseboard and substructure were spray painted with paint to mimic terracotta. This both gave the correct colour for underlying earth but also gave some texture for the glue to attach to. All model for buildings, people and animals were all 1:87th scale. Building was built as per the producer’s instructions. Green ground foam was used for all of the grass. Sand was used to texture the ground in the farming area. Landscaping rocks were used to create the cliff face with hot glue. All groundcover was attached with the same PVA glue. The rivers were lined with silicone sealant/adhesive and earth coloured fine gravel.  Roads and paths were created with fine grey gravel. Water is pumped through tubing embedded in the polystyrene to follow two paths.


The METland is made with coke and fake plants. The water that runs along this path is coloured with iron II chloride. This gives the water a brown cloudy appearance. This is the path of the water that represents urban wastewater. The second water path flows from the METland to a small-simulated pond. This water is simply tap water. The total volume of water flowing through the model at any given moment is about 1.5 litres. The water pumped with two aquarium powerheads.


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