Water harvesting system

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To fully understand our philosophies on water and our research into our water harvesting systems, please see our Natural Water System - Drainage and Harvesting page. This page is intended to describe the water systems as they were set up. Please note that we did not pursue a gray water harvesting system. Harvested water is used for outside purposes only. Inside water comes from the City of Detroit water system.

Water Harvesting for Gardens

  • Our water plan divides the roof into sections to have the water go to where it can be stored, used or placed into the drainage fields for the plants around to use.

Natural water system.png


Our goal is to use NO water from the city system for plants at the Green Garage.

Storage / Usage

Our water harvesting system includes the following storage tanks:

  • 500 gallon tank on the roof of the building above the 3-season room at 15 feet high above grade. The tank is supplied by a guttering system which harvests water from the south side of the barreled roof of the main building. This tank acts as the primary water supply for the front of the building and into the alley. The pressure is approximately 6.5 psi (normal city water supply is in the 40 - 60psi range).
  • A 1,200 gallon tank under the parking lot is supplied from water harvested from the front of the annex roof and the north side of the barrel roof of the main building. This water is used for watering the parking lot and front garden plants.
  • A rain barrel in the backyard helps with the backyard and alley. It is filled by a gutter on the rear of the annex building.

Water Distribution

We currently move the harvested water around the site to the point of use with minimal use of power.

  • Front / Parking Area / Wall Gardens - uses a hose attached to the tank in the parking lot of the building. We have a submersible magnetic drive pump (low energy) in the tank to assist delivery of water.
  • Backyard - uses rain barrel in backyard.
  • Alley - uses the rooftop cistern.
    • Extended tubing under front yard to connect rooftop cistern and added spigot to connect hose.
  • Greenhouse & Indoor plants - are watered from the rain barrel in the backyard using watering cans.

Annual Maintenance Routine

  • drainage each fall

See also

Additional Resources

Matt Lewis' water articles:

Assets (Model D)

Blue City (Model D)

Macomb's Blue Economy (Metromode)