Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Last month Syracuse University received a $1.35 million state grant from the Environmental Facilities Corporation to install a system at the Carrier Dome designed to collect the rainwater that runs off the facility’s roof.  The system will collect approximately 880,000 of the 6.6 million gallons of water that runs off the Dome’s 7-acre fabric roof each year.  The water will be stored in tanks that will be hung from the bottom of the arena’s upper bleachers and will be used to flush the toilets and urinals in the building’s 16 public bathrooms during events.  The project is intended as a demonstration of how rainwater collection systems can conserve municipal water supplies and reduce the costly infiltration of rainwater into wastewater treatment systems, which are already overloaded.  Currently, the water runoff from the Dome’s roof runs into a gutter which lines the entire bottom edge of the roof, then, thirty-six drains carry the water into the city’s stormwater system, which is combined with the sewer system.  Therefore, all that rainwater ends up in Onondaga County’s wastewater treatment plants where it is treated at great expense and then dumped into Onondaga Lake.  With the new system, piping will be installed to carry the water from 12 of the roof drains into four 5,000 gallon tanks which will be hung above the upper concourse.  In total, the tanks will hold 20,000 gallons of water; about 10,000 gallons get flushed down the Dome’s toilets and urinals during a football game.  The project will also include a filtration and chlorination system.  Although water not captured in the new storage tanks, as well as any overflow from the tanks, will still go into the city street drains, the university will look into collecting more of the water and using it to irrigate campus landscaping and to flush toilets in other buildings.  The main benefit is to the environment because it means less wastewater going into Onondaga Lake.

This project at the Carrier Dome is just one of the rainwater harvesting projects in Syracuse.  One of the other projects noted for rainwater harvesting is the primate exhibit at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, a project designed by Appel Osborne and completed in 2011.  This project which included rain cisterns, a rain garden, and porous pavement keeps 613,000 gallons of rainwater out of the city’s storm drains.

Read the article below for more information: