Students demonstrate advancements in rainwater harvesting as rainfall averages rise, testing the boundaries of an aging infrastructure

Chatham’s University’s Eden Hall Farm rainwater capture systems are a timely and interesting feature managing stormwater runoff with permeable surfaces, natural drainage includes 22,027 square feet of infiltration galleries (small pipes in gravel that collect water when it rains), and almost 30,000 sf of rain gardens.

As earlier reported, green infrastructure is a cost-effective solution to controlling rainwater becoming stormwater. All while providing numerous economic benefits. So the City of Lancaster with EPA sought to quantify the economic benefits. Benefits associated with utilizing green infrastructure.

First of all and to be clear, green infrastructure is specially for controlling stormwater.

The report estimated that within the combined sewer system (CSS) area. That’s Lancaster’s green infrastructure plan reducing gray infrastructure capital costs by $121.7 million. Also reducing wasted rainwater pumping and treatment costs by $661,000 per year.

Rain gardens feature deep-rooted native shrubs. Also perennials, and grasses. Grasses that receive runoff from roofs, sidewalks, streets and parking lots and hold the rainwater in a shallow depression as it slowly infiltrates into the ground.

rainwater creating Rain gardens created by Stormwater
The rainwater is stored in a 7500 gallon cistern, and used for:
1) irrigation in two of our hoop houses
2) to supplement field irrigation
3) to soak our shiitake logs for fruiting