John A. Logan College Installs Rainwater Harvesting and
Photo of the pump station for the communications building sprinkler system. Depicted are from left, JALC grounds maintenance employees Jack Legan and Mike Lukens, and JALC Director of Buildings, Grounds and Maintenance, Dwight Hoffard.
Photo of JALC maintenance employees install piping for the new rainwater collection system. From left, JALC Director of Buildings, Grounds and Maintenance, Dwight Hoffard, and maintenance staff Dwayne Sanders, and Larry Tanner.
“If we build it, rain will come”…. Dwight Hoffard, JALC Director of Buildings, Grounds, and Maintenance
Ironically, in the course of what is perhaps one of the driest summers on record, the College has completed installation of the first rainwater harvesting system on campus. For those not familiar with the term, rainwater harvesting is collecting water run-off from a structure, usually a roof in order to store it for later use. JALC grounds maintenance personnel designed and installed a system to capture rain falling on the roof of their new maintenance building on the North side of campus. Water will flow down gutters that channel the water into downspouts, through a filter system and then into a buried 2000 gallon concrete storage tank. The stored water will be used for plant and landscape irrigation. Given the size of the roof, it’s estimated that the system can collect over one thousand gallons of water from a 1” rainfall. With an annual average rainfall in Southern Illinois of over 48 inches in a normal year, nearly 50,000 gallons of water can be collected and used annually.
Rainwater collection systems make dollars and “sense”. The College now uses costly city water for the majority of our landscape irrigation. Plants thrive being watered with stored rainwater because it’s rich in nutrients, nearly pH neutral and does not contain chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals found in municipally treated water. The new rainwater harvesting system demonstrates our continued commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Funding for the project came through the JALC Sustainability Center with a grant by the Illinois Green Economy Network.
In another part of campus, the College has completed installation of a pumping station which takes water from a creek running through the campus. It is being used to water sod and landscaping installed around the new communications building. The pump and sprinkler system was designed, built and installed by campus grounds employees.