Water - Go With the Flow
In urban areas, rainwater that falls onto
sidewalks,streets, parking lots and rooftops flows directly
into sewers instead of being absorbed by the ground. As
the rain flows across paved surfaces, it picks up pollutants
such as oil, gas and other chemicals. The polluted rainwater
is carried through the sewer systems and empties into our
lakes and rivers.
At Chicago Green Tech, a four-part water conservation
system reduces the amount of water flowing into the sewers,
which helps prevent water pollution and eases pressure on the
sewer system itself. The water conservation system consists
Chicago Green Tech's roof is covered by low-growing sedum, a
succulent plant species that absorbs rainwater. Learn about
more advantages of having a green roof.
Much of the
rain that falls on Chicago Green Tech's roof flows into four
12,000-gallon cisterns and is later used to water the
landscape. Thanks to the cisterns, Chicago Green Tech takes
less water from the lake to keep the campus lush and
Rainwater on the roof that is not
collected by the green roof or in the cisterns flows directly
into the landscape via regular downspouts. These downspouts
are unique because they are not connected to the sewer system,
as are many downspouts in Chicago. By disconnecting your
downspout you can save money by using less water in your yard
and help keep Chicago's sewer system (and your basement) from
flooding during heavy rains. Look here to learn more about disconnecting your downspout.
Bioswales and the
Rainwater falling on the ground at CCGT
flows from parking lots and sidewalks into bioswales, which
flow into the wetland. Bioswales are essentially
ditches featuring water-loving species of plants.
Working together, Chicago Green Tech's water conservation
system retains over half of the rainwater that falls on the
site. On a rainy day, an average of three inches of rain will
fall within a 24-hour period. Without the water conservation
system, 175,000 gallons of water would run off of the site
into the sewer system.
With the combined system, only 85,000 gallons of rainwater
is released into the sewers.