Rainwater Harvesting at Georgia Tech March 14, 2013

ABOUT RAINWATER HARVESTING AT GEORGIA TECH

GA Tech is home to the largest rain water and condensation collection system (1,400,000 gallons) on a US campus used for flushing and irrigation. When Georgia Tech decided to retrofit their old engineering building, a condensate recovery and rainwater collection system capable of irrigating the new landscape was a major consideration. The system incorporates a stainless steel overflow scupper which directs excess flow to a river stone splash pad planted with wetland reeds. The corrugated steel tank offers an attractive contrast to the brick facade and represents a modern symbol of Tech’s commitment to conserving water resources on campus with rainwater harvesting. GA Tech is now home to the largest rain water and condensation collection system (1,400,000 gallons) on a US campus used for flushing and irrigation.

Did you know?

  • 1 inch of rainfall on a 2,000 sq. ft. residential roof generates 1,250 gallons of water that can be reused.
  • That same roof in a region receiving 30 inches of annual rainfall generates 41,000 gallons of reusable water.
  • The average US household with a 10,000 square foot lot uses 5,000 gallons of water weekly for landscape irrigation.
  • Running a sprinkler for 2 hours can use up to 500 gallons of water.

Benefits

COMMUNITY HEALTH & VITALITY

Rainwater harvesting improves Atlanta’s quality of life by increasing the water supply and reserving potable water for more targeted uses; reducing stormwater runoff, which improves water quality and prevents damage from flooding; keeping the city green by permitting outdoor irrigation even when surface water supply is low, and offering downstream neighbors assurance that we are using our available water resources responsibly.

WATER CONSERVATION

Rainwater harvesting reduces water transport losses through evaporation and pipe leaks because the supply it creates is collected and used on site. Water that would have been lost through runoff during rainstorms is collected and used to augment water system deliveries, saving money for property owners on their water bills as well as for the city on system operations and maintenance.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Rainwater harvesting affects energy in two ways. First, municipal water treatment is a highly energy-intensive process, especially the operation of pumps for delivery through pipes. So, by collecting and using rainwater on site, those energy costs are avoided. Second, energy production requires substantial water supply. Half of all water withdrawals in the state of Georgia are used for energy production. By helping sustain healthy water levels, rainwater harvesting maintains the state’s ability to meet energy production needs, especially during drought periods.

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