Local News

No Water Wasted With New Collection System

Posted August 22, 2007
Updated August 23, 2007

— Even with the recent hot, dry conditions and the newest round of water restrictions, there was no shortage of water at the State Legislative Building.

Flowers in bloom, grounds all green – you’d never know there’s a drought by looking at the Legislative building.

“Every bit of water that falls here, drains right back into the system,” said Tony Goldman, administrative division director.

The system, one of the first in the state, collects rain water off the roof, sends it through drains and into underground tanks where it's used for irrigation and to fill the fountains around the building.

“We’re able to capture or use about 3 million gallons of water,” Goldman said.

Not a drop is wasted, as even the condensation from the building's air handlers drains into the system.

“It’s real simple. We’re running out of water,” said Michael Nicklas, who designed the state’s storm-water collection system and several others across the state. “The water that falls anywhere along the roof-area surfaces is all collected.”

At the new Heritage Middle School in Wake Forest, rain water is collected, then piped into the school's toilets for flushing.

North Guilford Middle School, Millbrook Elementary in Raleigh and Montessori Community School in Chapel Hill are some other schools in the area that use the storm-water system.

Although the projects are new, Dr. Michael Walden, an economist with N.C. State, said there are things to consider like cost and future weather conditions.

“It’s a question of is this going to persist? And if so, what are the upfront costs compared to the long-run benefits?” he said.

The state paid more than $250,000 for the system. It saves an estimated 2 million gallons of water each year - water that otherwise would have gone down the drain.

Even without rain, the system collects three gallons an hour from condensation from the 47 air handlers. Officials said the state invested $125,000 in the Legislative building’s landscape.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Jeremiah Aug 23, 2007

    agreed, a drip system would be better.

    but it's better than nothing.

  • Obscurite Aug 23, 2007

    lol...amvaugha...there is a scientific term that I want you to understand...e...va...por...ra...tion. On of the greatest losses according to other articles is e...va...por...ra...tion. So unless this system is encased in glass (doesn't look like it) it is still subject to e...va...por...ra...tion. The type of irrigation system shown in the picture is one of the poorest choices to decrease loss, drip systems would be a much better choice to decrease the loss of H2O due to e...va...por...ra...tion. Like the "duh" though...

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Aug 23, 2007

    If there is no rain then they water the lawn from new water but that new water is constantly reused. Duh?!

  • Jeremiah Aug 23, 2007

    yes obsurite, but there isn't an infrastructure set up to capture road/urban runoff for reuse or treatment. (see other thread)

  • Obscurite Aug 23, 2007

    “Every bit of water that falls here, drains right back into the system,"

    hmmm...but what if it doesn't rain? And isn't that really the situation we are in? Steve Crisp noted in another post that we could do the same thing with the run off from our streets. Now, as a general rule I disagree with almost everything he mutters, but this time I think he has something there...

    I guess, every once in a while, the sun does shine on a dog's...


  • haggis basher Aug 23, 2007

    "this article is about ways that the state saves water."

    No it isn't! its about how they spent $250K on keeping another $125K of plants alive. If they had planted the correct plants we would be equal in water use and have $250K less in Taxes

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Aug 23, 2007

    Some of the people on this boards are such whiners. You complain about having to be on water restrictions and yet this article is about ways that the state saves water.

    If you weren't on restrictions and the water supply ran out you would complain that the state didn't do enough. Grow up people really.

  • RIP- Yogi Bear Aug 23, 2007

    I would like to get some $$$ back on my state return this year for the system I helped pay for though.

  • RIP- Yogi Bear Aug 23, 2007

    I've seen an ad on this for homeowners. I think this is a pretty good solution as long as the water doesn't become contaminated. And there is enough rain to fill it up on a regular basis.

  • haggis basher Aug 23, 2007

    "Plus planting landscaping helps reduce CO2 emissions and can reduce temps, especially in in urban areas."

    Only the gullible care about Co2 emmissions and BTW how does landscaping reduce CO2 Emmissions? It soaks some Co2 up in the growing of the plants but it certainly doesn't stop anything emmitting Co2.
    I personally like trees and landscaping but it doesn't need the support of nonsense like this. Plant trees and grass that are drought tolerant.