Stormwater harvesting recommendations
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- Urban runoff-Massachusetts-Northampton-Management-Design; Urban runoff-Management-Economic aspects; Runoff-Purification-Design; Sustainable engineering; Irrigation-Tailwater recovery systems; Best management practices (Pollution prevention); Stormwater harvesting; Stormwater reuse; Green infrastructure; BMP; Engineering
As part of my design clinic project, I worked with Northampton Department of Public Works (DPW) on creating an inventory of green infrastructure opportunities and designing priority retrofits for stormwater management. In order to provide an extra resource to the DPW, I decided to write a report on stormwater harvesting, specifically stormwater harvesting for domestic resue. I chose stormwater harvesting because of its potential to not only reduce stormwater runoff but also its ability to reuse a freely available resource, which may have otherwise caused problems. In this report, I analyzed the benefits and potential problems of stormwater harvesting. I conducted a technology review, specially geared towards solving problems that may arise with stormwater harvesting. The technology review revealed that most harvesting systems should be dark colored to prevent algae growth, and should ideally be connected to a first flush diverter to divert contaminants associated with the first flush. After conducting a technology review, I created a short handbook for citizens who may be interested in sizing a stormwater harvesting system for their house. I geared the handbook towards sizing a system to meet expected demand. The handbook can also be used by those who are simply interested in finding out how much water they could potentially collect and reuse if they were to invest in a system. In order to further build on the handbook, I conducted a case study where I sized a stormwater harvesting system for a house in Northampton. The calculations of present worth showed that the payback on a stormwater harvesting system is likely to be greater than 10 years. However, there are intangible benefits associated with stormwater harvesting which may drive users to invest in stormwater harvesting regardless of the late pay back. Stormwater harvesting has great potential and governments should start subsidizing stormwater harvesting systems so more citizens would invest in it.