Friday, December 23, 2016

Tucson's rainwater and graywater systems provide multiple benefits

Brad Lancaster has a couple books explaining in detail how to do rainwater and graywater systems. They helped my husband and me put in both systems in our new house. We are all familiar with the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle hierarchy for waste reduction. The ah-ha for me in Brad's work is that there is a similar hierarchy in water conservation.

First, direct the water that falls on the land to places it is needed. It's inexpensive to shape the land to put stormwater where you want it. At our house, this stormwater is directed in turn into four small catchment basins, each with a fruit tree. The trees seem not to mind being underwater a couple times a year when we get heavy rains. We can keep on our property the first inch of rain in a day, reducing flooding concerns.

In Tucson, they have cut curbs so rainwater goes into similar tree wells. Why are we directing rainwater into stormwater systems which then have to be processed by wastewater treatment facilities? We are paying to clean rainwater! In a desert. The Alliance encouraged Sedona to include more "green infrastructure" in our stormwater plan. See the pictures in this article.

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