Water Efficient Home as a Model for Building Standards PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brad Daniel   

Rainsavers recently completed a job in Mountain View, California whose owner built a home that uses very little municipal water and has native Santa Clara County plants, grasses and fruit trees. Rainsavers installs rain barrels, tanks and complete systems for residential, commercial and public facilities.

The homeowner built the home with a grey water recycling system, sheet metal roofing material, a solar hot water heating system, a “wetland” leach field where the grey water is diverted and a Rain Water harvesting system.

The owner also had a nine thousand gallon underground cistern installed as the home was built to store the rainwater from the roof. One of the goals and mandates coming from state and local governments is to greatly reduce runoff from around the bay area. All the gutter downspouts are routed to the tank. The water collected is tied to her drip irrigation system and used on the landscape. The tank overflow is directed to a rain garden where the water seeps back into the ground.

Rainsavers was hired to install the pump, pressure tank, electronic valves, controller, PVC conduits and electrical supply for the system.

The first picture shows the smooth concrete siding, the metal roof, manhole access to the tank and the wetland field on the left side.

house2_BDThe drip system can be automatically switched from municipal water to the rain water system depending on storage levels, via a three-way electronic control valve.

The second picture shows the pump, pressure tank, controller and electric panel. A pressure tank has 20-40 pounds of air pressure to prevent the pump from cycling on/off as the systems is used. The controller monitors the water level in the tank, and it can activate system flush, backup, transfers, drain and service reminders.

You can view the home at her online blog www.301monroe.com
Rainsavers can be contacted at www.rainsaversonline.com