In March 2011, Innovative Water Solutions received a 2010 Texas Rain Catcher Award that is awarded by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). The award is part of their effort to promote Innovative Water Technologies to further water conservation in Texas. The TWDB created the a rainwater harvesting competition and recognition program in October 2007, in order to promote the technology, educate the public, and to recognize excellence in the application of rainwater harvesting systems in Texas. The TWDB set up three categories for the competition: residential, commercial/industrial, and educational/governmental. The competition is open to all individuals, companies, organizations, municipalities, and other local and state governmental entities in Texas. IWS submitted an entry for the commercial/industrial category. We submitted the rainwater harvesting system that we installed on the Community Resource and Recreation Center in Canyon Lake, Texas. The Rain Catcher award webpage provides a few details of the rainwater collection system.
CRRC wanted to add some additional impervious cover on the site through either a parking lot or another recreational building for the community. The Texas Council on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) required that CRRC must install a detention system for the amount of additional impervious cover that would be added to the property since the property is located over the recharge zone for the Edwards Aquifer.
Rather than installing a traditional detention pond, the Comal County Engineering Department solicited bids for the installation of a rainwater harvesting system that would mimic a traditional detention pond system. The necessary collection volume was determined to be 12,500 gallons. After this point, the specifications ceased. IWS had to devise the mechanism to drain the cistern after a period of 72 hours which is the detention time required by the TCEQ. Basically, a float switch starts a timer system that counts down 72 hours. At this point, a solenoid valve is triggered which release the rainwater from the cistern. With the orifice size of the outlet pipe, it takes about 48 hours to drain the cistern. Once the water level in the cistern falls under the 1′ depth, the float switch shuts off the solenoid valve. At this point, the cistern is ready for the next storm event. You can see the rest of the recipients here.