Rainwater Reuse, Low-impact Design and New Water-storage Technology

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A water conservation and smart irrigation demonstration project for the Eco-Living Center landscape at Rutenberg Park, Fort Myers, Florida

Presented to the U.S. Green Building Council, Gulf Coast Chapter, Nov. 4, 2009

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Rainwater Reuse, Low-impact Design and New Water-storage Technology

  1. 1. Rainwater Reuse, Low-impact Design and New Water-storage Technology A water conservation and smart irrigation demonstration project for the Eco-Living Center landscape
  2. 2. Rainwater catchment <ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces use of potable water for irrigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On site reuse reduces quantity of stormwater runoff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New construction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retrofits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Residential communities </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Above ground rainwater storage <ul><li>Rain barrels, cisterns, rigid tanks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No excavation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low-cost </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to build, install and access </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concerns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Space considerations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aesthetics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overflow </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. A simple cistern
  5. 5. In-ground rainwater storage <ul><li>Rigid tanks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aesthetics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Zero impact on landscape space </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concerns: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of material flexibility </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Excavation needs </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Matrix storage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aesthetics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Zero impact on landscape space </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Modular cells enhance layout flexibility for space efficiency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>High strength; can be installed under driveways </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lightweight and collapsible for easy transport </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Up to 95% void space for enhanced volume </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lightweight enough for green roof applications </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More green space </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concerns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Excavation </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Eco-Living Center Roof Runoff Yellow area: 2,467 Sq Ft (typical household roof) 1” rainfall = 1262 gal before evaporation 50/50 split between the rain garden and rainwater catchment system could net 36,000 gal, assuming 57” annual rainfall
  8. 8. Atlantis Matrix applications
  9. 9. In-ground rainwater storage installation
  10. 10. The matrix will hold water for irrigating the coontie bed in front of the Eco-Living Center
  11. 11. Microjet placement on coontie bed
  12. 12. LEED Points <ul><li>A builder using this water storage technology would achieve as many as 12 credits </li></ul>1 Innovation & Design 3 Materials & Resources 4 Water efficiency 4 Sustainable sites Credits possible Category
  13. 13. Marketing angles <ul><li>Reduce water/sewage costs </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce sewage assessments calculated based on a homeowner’s impervious surface area </li></ul><ul><li>Competition – Wouldn’t you love to have a productive garden even when your neighbor’s lawn is turning brown? </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional buy-in – Homeowners can be part of the solution </li></ul><ul><li>Property values – Enhanced from low-impact development practices </li></ul>
  14. 14. DO try this at home! <ul><li>It’s not hard to institute a small-scale rainwater catchment system. </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative water source during an emergency, like a hurricane. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a beautiful “waterscape” </li></ul><ul><li>Your neighbors might catch on to what you’re doing and want to try it themselves. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Four pinnacles of creating a greener community <ul><li>Energy </li></ul><ul><li>Bio-diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy livability </li></ul><ul><li>Water </li></ul>
  16. 16. Nine principles of Florida friendly landscaping <ul><li>Right plant, right place </li></ul><ul><li>Water efficiently </li></ul><ul><li>Fertilize appropriately </li></ul><ul><li>Mulch </li></ul><ul><li>Attract wildlife </li></ul><ul><li>Control yard pests responsibly </li></ul><ul><li>Recycle </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce stormwater runoff </li></ul><ul><li>Protect the waterfront </li></ul>
  17. 17. Resources <ul><li>Florida Yards and Neighborhoods http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu </li></ul><ul><li>Lee County Extension Service http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/ </li></ul><ul><li>Elemental Stone and Waterworks, Inc. www.artofwelcome.com </li></ul><ul><li>Florida Yards and Neighborhoods http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu </li></ul><ul><li>Lee County Extension Service http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/ </li></ul><ul><li>Elemental Stone and Waterworks, Inc. www.artofwelcome.com </li></ul>
  18. 18. Produced for Florida Yards and Neighborhoods, in collaboration with Elemental Stone and Waterworks, Inc. Other contributors: Jeff Paul, Jeff Paul Enterprises - Irrigation Eric Thornton, R.S. Walsh Landscaping – CAD illustrations

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