NSU was founded on the principles of harnessing the power of nature to provide low-cost and environmentally friendly treatment of wastewater, stormwater and sludge. The use of natural systems, such as constructed wetlands, bio-swales and reed beds, is central to this theme. These systems mimic the conditions found in nature to provide the optimum environment to establish the microbial communities responsible for the removal of wastewater pollutants. NSU typically plants its natural systems with a variety of native functional plant species that provide excellent opportunity for integration with landscape architecture, biodiversity and education goals at a particular project. Natural systems greatly improve the economic feasibility of providing onsite wastewater treatment solutions for small developments or communities, as they have low capital, energy, chemical and operations costs in comparison to many conventional wastewater treatment technologies. Recent technological developments to natural systems can achieve year-round stringent nutrient discharge limits, even in challenging cold climates. NSU proudly operates 35 decentralized constructed wetland treatment systems in snowy Minnesota with a 100 % compliance record.