Spring 2015 update!
The structure is in place ready to go. Now we just need to install the gutters, put the tanks in place, connect up the piping and the final step to connect the water down the hill to the demonstration gardens.
Water tanks sit next to the collection shed waiting to be installed.
(Courtesy of Phil Wyde)
Summer 2014 update!
If someone asked you what Venice, Italy and our nature center have in common, it might produce some head scratching. Did you know that Venice, even though it’s surrounded by water, had no source of fresh water?
In the ninth century, Venetians devised a clever water catchment system that collected and filtered rain water being using the many town squares. The rain was funnelled thru stone grates into clay holding tanks filled with limestone which served to filter out debris. Then, using carefully slopped piping and gravity, water flowed in to the artfully designed “wells” in the center of the square for use by the citizens. This was their primary source of fresh water for almost a thousand years.
Well, we have the same problem and we’re going to use the same design principles those Venetians used back in the ninth century! The diagram below is from the installation at the fish hatchery installation at Inks Lake. Fortunately for us, some of the same smart folks who did this design are helping us with the installation at the nature center.
Where the Venetians used stone grates, we will use gutters carefully angled to funnel the water into our storage tanks. Like the Venetians, we had to devise a way to filter out debris using screens and a clever “first flush” design. And like the Venetians, we are going to rely on gravity to move the water where it is needed.
In the spring, the site was cleared for the rain water collection tank, collection troughs, and pipes. It will provide water to the demonstration gardens, such as the butterfly waystation, as well to other stations along the nature center trails. The team from RPR was very helpful in clearing and levelling the site. Now it’s time for the volunteers to take on the next steps of designing and building the structure, installing pipes and fittings, the tank and the gravity feeds…. and then hope for rain.
Now it’s on the fun part, assembling all the pieces. Good thing the team has a sheltered space within which to work. It’s hot out there!
Using a gravity feed requires careful thought of where to lay the pipes. The team walked the hillside to plan the path to the demonstration gardens at the base of nature hill and the entrance to the nature center.
Clearing the site so that the posts can be installed.
Everything is coming together, thanks to a lot of hard work and good planning. Soon we’ll be installing all the parts on location. Next step, drilling holes for the poles and getting them firmly seated. Stay tuned!!
Thanks to our many wonderful volunteers: George Brugnoli, Dick Eaton, Karyn Parker, Mike Parker, Jerry Stacy, Bob Whaley, Phil Wyde, and of course Vol’s team from RPR, always willing to help with the heavy lifting, drilling, dirt moving, etc.