Mycofiltration is using mycelium of fungi as a biological filter to clean contaminated water. This method has shown great promise in filtering out the following common types of water contamination:

-pathogens (viruses, bacteria, protozoa)
-chemical toxins
-silt/heavy metals

Today, much of our lakes, rivers, and streams are contaminated with a number of different pesticides, fertilizers, pathogens, chemicals, and silts. This is largely due to unsustainable farming practices that are so prevalent in our society today. Fortunately for us, mushrooms have come to save the day. Mycofiltration was first implemented by Paul Stamets on his property on Skookum Inlet in Washington State. This was due to the large ammounts of fecal coliforms they were seeing in the runnoff of his Black Angus farm, and Paul wasn’t the only problem. Many of his neighbors were having the same problem. He installed a large bed of King Stropharia (Stropharia rugosoannulata) on the lower end of his pastures. Since there were many shellfish farms such as Taylor Shellfish Farms who raise shellfish in the inlet, this posed a large danger to their businesses. Water that trickled down his property was collected and forced through his bed of mushroom mycelium. After only one year, the water was tested only to find that the number of coliforms had had dropped significantly. So significant, in fact, that it attracted the attention of local officials. If you would like to read more about Paul Stamets Mycofiltration projects, check out his article entitled: A Novel Approach to Farm Waste Management.

Mycofiltration Links:

Paul Stamets article for Yes! Magazine Spring 2003
Mycofiltration at Mason County, Washington site
Mycofiltration picture
Alleviating Water Quality Impacts of Animal Waste Through Mycoremediation and Mycofiltration
Delivery Systems for Mycotechnologies, Mycofiltration and Mycoremediation- Paul Stamets Patent
Facebook: Mycofiltration
Wikipedia: Mycofiltration

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Margaret March 25, 2012 at 3:26 am

Hi thanks for posting the information on this website. I’m looking for people who are using mycofiltration on the home level, specifically for drinking water.
do you know if there are particular types of mycelium that filter water more effectively than others?


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