Bamboo rhizomes and dense root systems anchor topsoil along steep slopes and riverbanks, very effectively controlling erosion, their rapid growth enables bamboo to absorb surplus nitrogen, phosphorous and heavy metals found in sewage and polluted water, locking them in the plant alleviating downstream pollution.
Bamboo is already being used to filter wastewater from the United Nations complex in Nairobi Kenya, Municipal authorities in the capitals of Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, are joining discussions on how to incorporate bamboo into their urban planning; environmentally to clean up the wastewater in informal settlements and to provide sustainable fuel to their residents.
Studies have also shown that natural bamboo forests have excellent hydrological functions that promote soil health. Their lofty thick canopy of fine leaves serves to conserve moisture in the soil and supply an abundance of leaves, sheaths and old culms that die and fall to the ground. The moisture rich mulch rapidly decomposes into a humus layer enriching the soil.