SELECTING A WATER HARVESTING SOLUTION
Every building project presents a unique situation. Which water sources for collection are most appropriate for your building project? How should the water be processed? Should active or passive methods be used? How should collected water be recycled? The answer to all these questions is, “it depends”. The options and combinations of options create an unlimited set of variables in designing a system that best suits a particular building in a given location.
For a Water Harvesting Solutions project, we begin with the Scoping Phase for a project to help identify the best plan for a particular building. We can provide a free analysis and recommendations for your project. Contact us! The following issues are considered in any recommendation developed:
Why does the building owner wish to apply a water harvesting system for the building? What are the motivations? Motivations may include:
- A genuine interest in “being green” and reducing the impact of the building on the environment
- Earning LEED certification for a building
- A requirement by the local municipality to reduce the amount of rainwater entering the sewer or stormwater system
- Conserving potable water to save water costs; interested in ROI for the system
- Reducing water processing fees to local municipalities
- Creating public relations opportunities for the organization as a “good neighbor”
- Enhancing the beauty of the building through a green roof or vegetated swales
ON-SITE WATER SOURCES
The planned building use, size and location all affect the logical sources of water for harvesting. Our Scoping phase addresses these and other questions:
- What are the average annual rainfall amounts at the building location?
- What is the planned design and square footage of the building’s roof? What percentage will receive collectible rainwater?
- Is there a cooling system that generates condensate?
- What is the anticipated daily gallonage of greywater (gray water) from showers, sinks and other sources?
- Will the building generate ground water through a sump system?
HARVESTED WATER USES
We will also want to consider how harvested water might be used in your building and on the property.
- For systems supporting toilet flushing, what are the total number of toilets and urinals planned for the building?
- What is the Gallons Per Flush (GPF) of each fixure type?
- What is the anticipated occupancy load on the building? (To determine average daily flush gallonage).
- What is the anticipated water demand for planned grass and landscaping? Fountains or other water features?
- Is there a desire to use the harvested water for a cooling tower or as backup to a fire suppression system?
These other factors affect the total system design:
- What are the costs for municipal water? What are they expected to be 5 to 10 years out?
- What are the costs for sewage treatment in the area?
- Does the community have any regulations in place addressing the usage of greywater or rainwater?
- Can the building design accommodate a planted roof system?
- Can the parking area accommodate a vegetated swale instead of a mechanical filtration system?
How Much Rainwater is Available? How much greywater do you need? For a rough estimate of these numbers, try out our Water Harvesting Calculator.
Water Harvesting Solutions works closely with the building architects and engineers to develop a system that best meets the need of the property and the desires of the property owner. For more information on our processes and approaches to harvesting, please see Our Services or Contact Us.