Stormwater reuse – Centerville leads the way

Centerville and other communities across the metropolitan area are exploring stormwater reuse projects to collect, store and reuse rainwater during dry periods on city-owned lawns, ballfields and other landscaping instead of purchasing water. Municipal and business leaders realize that opportunities abound to better manage stormwater on their properties, help improve their bottom line, and become better stewards of the environment.

Not only are these stormwater reuse facilities saving money on groundwater pumping, they are conserving groundwater, reducing pollution to local lakes and rivers, and reducing costs for complying with new stormwater management requirements. The facilities also create valuable educational opportunities for stormwater management professionals, students and the public.

Among the other demonstration sites, the Centerville ballfield irrigation project is the simplest. After studying several options, the city is now capturing “free water” from a local pond and spraying it (after filtering) from giant watering guns over 11 acres of ballfields at Laurie LaMotte Park.

The minimalist and relatively inexpensive project is saving groundwater and keeping pond water from overflowing into Centerville Lake, protecting that body of water from runoff pollution.

Stormwater reuse benefits not only our local water resources by reducing groundwater pumping – but reducing the pollution carried into lakes, rivers and eventually the Golf of Mexico. Centerville is demonstrating a way to be Part of the Solution, Not the Pollution (EPA video).

Attention residents:  You can reuse rain water too by installing a rain barrel to collect rain from your roof.  Did you know that rainwater can actually help to improve the health of your garden, lawn and trees?  Rainwater is naturally soft (as nature intended for plants) and devoid of hardness minerals, chlorine and other chemicals found in city or home well water. For more information see the U of M Extension fact sheet Rain Barrels: A Way of Collecting and Using Rainwater.

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