Demonstration and Monitoring of Rainwater Harvesting Technology in North Carolina


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by K. M. DeBusk, Extension Associate; Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, Box 7625, Raleigh, NC 27695, kathy_debusk@ncsu.edu,
W. F. Hunt, P.E., Ph.D., Associate Professor & Extension Specialist; Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, Box 7625, Raleigh, NC 27695, bill_hunt@ncsu.edu,
J. D. Wright, P.E., Water Resources Engineer; Tetra Tech, 1230 Columbia St., Suite 1000, San Diego, CA 92101, jason.wright@tetratech.com,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010: Challenges of Change

Abstract: Water conservation has grown in importance across North Carolina, as much of the state has recently suffered moderate to severe drought conditions. In addition to meeting water conservation needs, rainwater harvesting systems (cisterns) have an important application in low impact development (LID) as innovative stormwater management practices. A total of three cisterns were installed in each of the main physiographic regions of North Carolina: Craven County (coastal plain), Guilford County (piedmont), and Watauga County (mountain). These systems demonstrate above ground and partially buried applications. Uses for the captured stormwater include irrigating landscapes and gardens, washing vehicles, an additive for brine applied to icy streets and flushing kennels at an animal shelter. Each site is being monitored for water quantity and usage, and one system is monitored for water quality. Results will help establish the water quantity and quality benefits of rainwater harvesting systems and will influence design recommendations to be incorporated in the State of North Carolina's new Stormwater BMP Design Manual.

Subject Headings: Stormwater management | Rain water | Water shortage | Water quality | Water conservation | Sustainable development | Water tanks | Innovation | North Carolina

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