Our asphalt shingle main building roof was replaced in Summer 2013 with a standing seam metal roof. At the same time we completed a rainwater harvesting project to divert all the roof storm-water (zones 1 and 2 on the attached schematic) from the sanitary sewer to on site rain gardens.
In a subsequent project we captured 100% of the driveway storm-water with three grate drains installed in the driveway (labeled zones 3, 4, and 5), another 200,000 gallons per year. All this water is cleansed in the rain gardens. This allows us to keep 100% of the rain that falls on the property on site, thereby replenishing the aquifer from which our well draws water.
The installation of our rainwater kinetic sculpture project in Spring 2017 has completed the first phase of our rainwater project. We modified the roof top collection system to keep the water as high as possible, maintaining its stored energy. It is now channeled at roof height to the front of the building.
On the south side, it enters ground level rain gardens creating a stream of water cascading down the hillside until it comes to the front yard swales.
On the north side, the rain is first cleaned by a roof washer, then a filter. Then it is channeled to a kinetic sculpture that consists of an 18′ high arch-shaped scaffolding supporting 12 rain chains and 3 water wheels. Each of the water wheels generates a small amount of hydro power.
Once the rainwater enters the swales it is directed around the circular garden in the front yard to a small pond. However, most of the water is absorbed in the first swales long before it reaches the pond. Only in sustained heavy downpours are all the swales saturated.