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Harvesting the Rain, An Overview of the Rainwater Collection Systems at McKinney ISD
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The primary goal of sustainable design is to utilize the natural resources offered by the surrounding environment. Considering the drought conditions over the past several years, water is a resource that received significant consideration in the planning and design phases at four elementary schools in McKinney ISD. By harvesting the rainwater from the roof of the building and channeling this water into six oncampus storage tanks, enough rainwater can be collected to flush the toilets and irrigate the school's lawn areas. The rainwater collection and utilization system includes gutters to direct the water to the cisterns, cisterns to collect the rainwater and pumps to distribute the water. A floor plan of Walker Elementary School is shown in Figure 1. Other features of the system include a piping loop for tank equalization, a circulation system for freeze protection, a booster system for flushing, a tie-in to City water for make-up water and chemical treatment. Another element of sustainable design is “eco education” which is a concept that incorporates sustainability into the curriculum so that students can understand the design and how it impacts the environment. By making this collection system visible, it is a very powerful teaching tool for students to learn about water conservation. The purpose of this paper is to present detailed information on the rainwater collection and utilization system at four elementary schools in McKinney ISD. This information will include planning issues and considerations, design features and constraints, construction needs and maintenance and operation requirements.
Schreppler, S.; Estes, J. M.; Dupont, D. (2002). Harvesting the Rain, An Overview of the Rainwater Collection Systems at McKinney ISD. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from