Study Shows the Viability of Rainwater Harvesting
WK Dickson receives an award for its work on a rainwater harvesting project in Kernersville, N.C.
Kernersville, N.C., is a small town in the Appalachian foothills. In the heart of downtown is a town hall complex — a magnet for residents with its library, farmer’s market and site of a variety of weekend festivals. Despite its charming setting, even Kernersville has been caught up with prevailing regulatory requirements for storm water pollution cleanup.
Town leadership reached out to WK Dickson to help it develop innovative rainwater harvesting and reuse concepts that included outside-the-box thinking from North Carolina State University (NCSU) senior design students. Working in partnership with the town of Kernersville, WK Dickson developed the project scope, executed the project study, applied for and received grant funding to partially offset project costs, conceived of the innovative team structure with involvement of university seniors, conducted the study, including coordination with the town, nonprofit Ciener Botanical Garden and NCSU Senior Design Capstone Study teams, developed recommendations, provided concept designs for several reuse options, and presented them to the town for design of a rainwater harvesting system from a nearby storm water pond to Ciener Botanical Gardens for use in irrigation.
The town is now moving to design and construction of this educational showcase project just in time to offer an innovative solution to meeting the new High Rock Lake Nutrient Management Rules. The engineering students have now graduated with a more in-depth understanding of sustainability and reuse, as well as exposure to the desirability of consulting and public works as career options. And both the town and Ciener Botanical Gardens are working closely together on a project in which the public visiting the gardens and residents, via public relations outreach, can learn of the benefits of rainwater reuse for irrigation, a useful take-home idea with benefits to the town, the environment and the public.