As population grows we continue to tax our natural water sources. Nothing demonstrates this more than Nevada’s Lake Mead reservoir. According to the National Park Service, Lake Mead has lost an average of 3.37’ per year over the last thirty years. That is equivalent to the height of a ten story building. It is clear that all of us must start thinking about not only water conservation but means of water storage as well. I believe all of us in the building industry, including architects, builders, designers, engineers and owners have the responsibility to make provisions to do this.
As density increases along with the desire to have beautifully landscaped yards, we continue to draw more and more water from our underground aquifer. Here in Florida and in many other areas, the more we draw from the aquifer, the more that saltwater begins to intrude into our natural ground source. On the Space Coast of Florida we have begun to experience salinity levels in our ground water that is exceeding what many plants and sod can withstand.
One method of reducing our footprint on our water resources is to install water storage tanks. These tanks can be permanent concrete storage tanks or even plastic, fiberglass or wood storage called rain barrels. We recently constructed a 10,000 gallon underground concrete reclamation tank. This particular tank was cast in place and was designed to be a structural load bearing tank as it sat underneath the residences driveway. The tank was then sealed with a waterproofing agent. The lids were also constructed onsite by forming and pour concrete. The lids were set in place with a crane and were completely sealed.
Water was collected from as many sources as possible. These sources included the home’s rain gutter system, air conditioning system condensate drains, outdoor shower drain, the swimming pool outfall including the swimming pool deck drains and even a collector from the street run off. With this property we calculated the tank would be filled with approx a 1 ½” rainfall. The water from the tank was used to irrigate the landscaping and yard.
We designed backup system controls that used well water to fill the tank at the very last moment before watering. That allowed for the salinity of the well water to be diluted by what ever water was in the tank. By backing up at the last possible moment it eliminated any unnecessary filling of the tank from the well source.
If you have any questions about water reclamation systems, please call us at Mead Construction at 1-321-255-3920.
1301 West Eau Gallie Blvd. Melbourne Florida 32935