STORM AND WASTE WATER MANAGEMENT

 

 

"While the amount of freshwater on the planet has remained fairly constant over time—continually recycled through the atmosphere and back into our cups—the population has exploded. This means that every year competition for a clean, copious supply of water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and sustaining life intensifies."(1)

 

Many cities and communities around the world have designed and built systems that capture, utilize, clean, and recycle fresh water using biological systems that mimic natural eco-systems.  Not only are these systems effective at returning clean water to the Earth's hydrological cycle, they often require less costly infrastructure, are more resilient to catastrophic events, and add value to the vitality of wildlife habitat.  In some cases, these systems can even produce valuable yields of food for people and animals, and fuels such as methane gas, ethanol, and other bio-fuels.  

 

As a society, we must only design and install systems, and utilize methods of managing storm and waste-water that add value to the surrounding eco-system and return clean water into our watersheds. 

Storm Water Harvesting Curb Cut, Boulder Colorado

Rain water enters into a series of mulched basins through a cut in the street curb.  Each basin harvests hundreds of gallons of water during even a small rain shower.  The basins are planted with a variety of edible plants that will grow into a dense food forest.  

1 Acre Northern Colorado

Residential Lot

The couple who live in this home had recently built their home and wanted to do their own landscaping.  They had heard about permaculture and desired to install a landscape that would provide the with food in the future.  Padden Permaculture conducted a site analysis, and created a design and they installed the landscape themselves.  Berms on contour and around trees captured rainwater runnoff coming off the street

Community Storm and Waste Water Design

Sunrise Ranch is a community of 80+ people that swells to over two hundred during its busy conference and retreat season.  The current waste water system does not meet EPA standards.  The video to the left was created as part of a project for my graduate degree with Gaia University to explore alternative waste water treatment options.