AWW co-sponsors rainwater harvest workshop

AWW joined with the City of Auburn, the Auburn University Water Resources Center, and Natures Tap in sponsoring an Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting Workshop (ARCSA 100-level course). Tia Gonzales, the leader of last year’s Community Rain Barrel Workshops (sponsored by the Saugahatchee Watershed Management Plan) organized the ARCSA workshop.

ARCSA 100-level course agenda

O-A News article on the workshop

ARCSA, the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1994 to promote rainwater catchment systems in the United States. ARCSA’s mission is to promote sustainable rainwater-harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world. ARCSA encourages all rainwater harvesting enthusiasts to learn about rainwater harvest and join the ARCSA organization (see for more information).

Pictures of Historical Society’s Rainwater Harvest System

 The 100-level workshop was held in Loachapoka, AL at the Lee County Historical Society. Thirty-two people participated, from as far away as Pennsylvania and Texas! Historical Society volunteers provided delicious snacks and beverages. Participants learned the basics of rainwater harvest from ARCSA instructor, Tim Pope, and were shown numerous systems, large and small, that have been installed around the country. Tim emphasized that rainwater harvest can be, and is for many, a viable sole-source of water for a household or a business, especially in Alabama where we get relatively abundant rainfall spread throughout the year (about 52 inches annually, on average). Some valuable rainwater harvest tidbits that I learned at the workshop are:

  • One square foot of rooftop yields 0.6 gallons of water from a 1” rain,
  • A 2000 square foot home can harvest about 63,156 gallons of rainwater per year from the roof,
  • Black rain tanks are best because they don’t allow light inside and therefore prevent algae growth inside the tank,
  • If one desires to use rainwater for potable use, there are several ways to sterilize the water, including chlorination, ultraviolet light treatment, ozone treatment and reverse osmosis. Some are more effective than others.

It is encouraging to see an increasing number of rainwater harvest systems in the Auburn/Opelika area. Go take a look at some of these examples and be inspired:

SWaMP helps with 3 Rs of Cary Woods Elementary Environmental Ed Project

Rooftop rain catchment tour

Alternative sources of water plus pollution reduction – A Win-Win!

SWaMP supports Rain Catchers



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