Weslaco library collects rainwater for landscaping

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POSTED: Monday, July 8, 2013 - 4:44pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 8:24am

Rain landing on the roof of Weslaco's library has a second life. 

Precipitation will now be drained and used to water the lawn around the Sanchez Library. 

"The rain harvesting system will cut water usage, our public water usage in half hopefully," said Arnoldo Becho, director of the Sanchez Library.  

The library now uses more than 73,000 gallons of water a month. 90 percent of that water goes to landscaping. If all goes according to plan, the system will save $150 a month.  But it goes further than that.  

 "We hope that other municipal buildings and other libraries will look at this and try to model a rain harvesting system in their location as well," Becho said.  

The cistern is where all the rainwater collects.  It's 12 feet in diameter, about 18 feet tall and holds 10,000 gallons of water.  Eventually, all that water will be fed into the sprinkler system for the library.  

The system costs about $10,000, not including labor and installation.  But it's covered through a grant program with Texas A&M University-Kingsville.  University students come in and test the water periodically.  And library tours can highlight its conservation efforts.

"For the grant purposes, which has a big educational component, it's perfect," said Augusto Sanchez, a coordinator for the grant program at TAMUK. "People come to libraries to learn.  So they already come with a right set of mind."  

 

 

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