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Arizona Rainwater Harvesting Systems Tours

Cochise Community College

This 1200-gallon Corrugated Metal Pipe system was installed in two phases in 2013 by Byron Berry, Maintenance and Operations Manager, and building construction students at Cochise College under the direction of Instructor Alma Hunt. The system consists of two 660--gallon linked tanks that supply water for landscape plants. Assistance was provided by the Upper San Pedro Partnership and the University of Arizona Cochise County Cooperative Extension Water Wise program.

System Statistics:
Harvested water use: Landscape plants
Irrigation Delivery System: Gravity feed to bubblers
Annual rainfall: 14”
Roof collection area: 2021 ft2
Roof material: EPDM – Rubber Roofing
Annual potential collection: 16,100 gallons
Present collection capacity: About 1200 gallons
First wash: No
Roof Conveyance System: Wet
Containers: 2- 4 x 8 Corrugated Metal Pipes (CMPs)
Auto fill: No
Overflow: To landscape

PDF Factsheet

Brian A Terry BP Station RWH Project

The facility, the Naco Border Patrol Station. The key design criterion: sustainability. The station was equipped with a BRAE rainwater harvesting system because in the Chihuahuan desert, every drop of the life-giving natural resource counts.
Buried underground are two, 25,000-gallon fiberglass water storage tanks; the centerpiece of the new BRAE rainwater harvesting system. The building’s
standing seam roof will collect nearly half a million gallons each year. This water, which ends up in the underground tanks, will be used to irrigate outdoor plants
and grass and also to flush toilets inside.

The system, like all BRAE systems, has four major components: inlet filtration,
storage, a Rainset™ and treatment components. The self-cleaning inlet filtration is buried just below grade, with a manhole cover for access. What little sediment that collects on the filter is flushed into the system overflow. After passing through a
series of strainers, the water continues into the subterranean storage tanks.


The Rainset™ is built on a skid in the mechanical room and serves as the control station, treatment station, and pressure booster pack all in one. Although there’s a
submersible pump in each of the tanks, the Rainset™ at Naco includes a dual pump system with two, five-HP pumps to boost water pressure for toilets and the sprinkler system. Monitoring, pump and cleaning controls are also mounted on the skid.


Factsheet PDF

City of Bisbee, Arizona
Water Harvesting Projects

Bisbee is a small community of 5,000 residents nestled in the Mule Mountains in southeast Arizona. Average annual rainfall is 18” and primarily falls in torrential monsoonal downpours in July, Aug and early September, and in gentle rains during the winter months. Spring is windy, hot and dry.


To help protect depleting groundwater supplies, in 2012, the City of Bisbee began harvesting rainwater. In 2012, the City participated in the installation of their first rainwater collection system selecting City Park in Old Bisbee as the pilot site. The University of Arizona Cochise County Cooperative Extension Water Wise Program obtained three successful grants to train city personnel and residents on how to construct 660 gallon, 4’ x 8’ corrugated metal pipe (CMP) cisterns (great for public places where vandalism could be a problem). After city personnel learned how to install the cisterns, with their oversight, community members installed the second CMP as a “barn-raising” event. A youth mural contest was held and local judges selected murals to be

painted on the tanks. Gutters were installed on the ramada that not only directed rain into the tanks but also reduced flooding problems in the park and property damage on the offices below the park.


This project was funded with grants from the Cochise Community Foundation, the Upper San Pedro Partnership and the Bisbee Bloomers. In-kind-service was provided by the city.

PDF Factsheet

Sonic Drive-In

3645 E. Fry Blvd., Sierra Vista, AZ


A dry delivery system (downspout directly to tank) from the west car covered parking area and a wet delivery system (downspout goes along the ground then up into the tank) from the east car covered parking system collected in a 3,000 gallon welded galvanized metal tank. When this Sonic Drive-In was remodeled, the owners like other community businesses, also wanted to preserve groundwater supplies by using rainwater instead of groundwater for irrigation. They contracted to have a 3,000 gallon welded galvanized steel tank (painted a beautiful blue color!) installed with an external pump so pressurized rainwater could water their landscape. The collection area catching the rain isn’t  very big at 600 square feet, but more downspouts can be directed to the tank. With the system Sonic has now, it is estimated that they can reduce their groundwater use by almost 5000 gallons each year.

PDF Factsheet


City of Sierra Vista Police Station

1011 N. Coronado Dr., Sierra Vista

Water Harvesting Project 2014


Passively harvesting 450,000 gallons of stormwater with “earthworks” from sidewalks and parking lot, and actively storing rooftop rain in 10,000 gallon tank.


Passive harvest: The area between the Sierra Vista Police Station and City Hall receives thousands of gallons of stormwater each year. Before the Watershed Management Group’s (a Tucson non-profit) earthworks retrofit project, the unused stormwater by-passed irrigated plants and drained to a detention basin - another example of paying for water while getting rid of water! The disposed stormwater also caused erosion cuts. A series of berms (bumps) and swales (dips) installed by community volunteers harvests the stormwater from the Police Station parking lot, an area approximately 55,000 square feet in size. It is estimated that annually, the earthworks will harvest 450,000 gallons of pollutant-laden stormwater running off the parking lot. In addition to the parking lot run-off, the swales and berms collect stormwater run-off from the hard surface areas surrounding the Police Station.

PDF Factsheet


Highland Center of Natural History 

We influenced the architects of the building to consider a “butterfly” profile which provided a south exposure for the PV panels, it also allows all the roof water to drain at a single point without the use of guttering forcing the water to an up gradient direction using gravity to passively irrigate the landscape. And recharge the creek. This also presented an opportunity for a capturing funnel which reduced the erosive energy of the falling water and celebrates every storm with honor & artistic expression.


PDF Factsheet


The Village - Student Housing 

Split system. The landscape in the courtyard was designed with the water demand in mind. The fruiting trees, shrubs and grape vines are irrigated with this isolated 5000 gal. pressurized system. The 3000 gal. pressurized system was designed to meet the demands of the vegetable garden only. The balance of the exclusively native species landscape is irrigated with municipal water for a two year establishment period only.



PDF Factsheet


Coconino Ranger Station, NSF Sedona, AZ 

National Forest Service was interested in creating a demonstration garden. This very busy Vistior center featured a variety of native plant species. The run-off was directed from the hardscape into a series of terraces and basins, built by volunteers, which would fill self
irrigate the plantings during storm events. During dry times the tanks water was pressurized and connected to the drip system and used primarily for establishment and during extreme drought.


PDF Factsheet


Refuge Retreat, Residence
Prescott, AZ

Remote seasonal mountaintop home with a failing well. We set up the rainwater collection system as the primary water source with well as back up. Re-guttering and snow stops were required because of the alpine conditions and tree density of the site. The local fire district was consulted with prior to the design and install. Owner also has a generator for power back-up.


PDF Factsheet


Prescott College Campus Commons
Prescott, AZ 

First phase-passive, future phase-active. A master plan approach to the entire core campus took into account all existing and future hardscape surfaces to collect precipitation and deliver it to native & edible landscape beds which were graded as basins to receive the runoff making the passive collection the landscapes primary long term irrigation supply.


PDF Factsheet


Southwest Wine Center, LEED Platinum
Yavapai College - Verde Campus, Cottonwood, AZ

The original scheme was to go Net-Zero water having the Rain system provide 100% of the facilities water demand. Local health code inspection cost made this prohibitive. The revised system meets all the landscape water needs. An impressive sculptural funnel elegantly captures water from the roof scuppers. The overflows are plumbed back into landscape for passive irrigation. Multiple landscape basins graded to maximize run-off capture assisting with stormwater mitigation.


PDF Factsheet


Whipple Street Basin Green Infrastructure
Prescott, AZ 

This existing weedy detention basin is located at a busy major intersection. This ADEQ project was a joint effort between our client, Prescott Creeks, and the City of Prescott. The objective was to develop green infrastructure to remove/reduce non-point source pollution
and improve the water quality of Watson Lake and its tributaries. Other goals: Public outreach/education and neighborhood building.


PDF Factsheet


Lofts at McKinley, LEED Platinum
Phoenix, AZ 

New three story housing complex pursuing LEED certification has a below grade parking garage
where we located the rainwater harvesting system. We interrupted the roof and patio and
planter drains with variable water quality, vortex pre-filters, float valve - city make-up water, 1 hp.
Submersible pump connected to irrigation system, overflows plumbed back into roof drains.


PDF Factsheet


Hayden Residence
Prescott, AZ 

Above ground tanks were ruled out because limited space and owners ‘taste’. Matching existing grade, the new landscaping garden was put on top of the tank system. Eco-rain system chosen for its strength and special flexibility. and capped with 2 ft. of topsoil for the plantings and hardscape. Large trees were
excluded from the ‘tank’ footprint. Internal 3” roof drains were intercepted just above grade with custom rainheads. Tank volume was dictated by landscape water budget.


PDF Factsheet


City of Prescott Adult Center
Prescott, AZ

This is an existing Community center and Meals on wheels facility. This ADEQ project was
a joint effort between our client, Prescott Creeks, and the City of Prescott. The objective was to develop green infrastructure to remove/reduce non-point source pollution and improve the water quality of Watson Lake and its tributaries, as well as educate the public. Basin network, Active and passive rainwater system and rain garden planted with edible
landscape attenuate storm surges and clean run-off.

PDF Factsheet


Town Hall and Library Demonstration Garden
Chino Valley, AZ 

In anticipation of a mandatory rainwater harvesting ordinance, The Town wanted a demonstration project to educate the public as well as research and gather data
of the concept . Turf was removed, new drought tolerant landscaping planted,
and active and passive rain systems were integrated and featured in the front yard of the town hall with this interpretive sign. Water budget basis: municipal water for establishment (2 yrs.) and rainwater for maintenance period (life of plant).


PDF Factsheet

Jones Residence
Flagstaff, AZ 

Integrated passive/active rainwater harvesting for repurposed shipping container home. System completely designed but never implemented.


PDF Factsheet


Roadrunner Elementary School,
Washington School District

The rainwater system consists of three 1700 gallon (5,100 gals total) underground tanks that stores the roof collected rainwater for the school’s outdoor irrigation system. Water flows from the roof to a poured in place concrete holding vessel with a built in basket filter prior to entering the underground tanks. Students are afforded a glass window inside the school that allows them to observe the flowing water during rain events connecting them to the system. Water is then pumped and filtered to an outdoor control station located remotely to the main cistern storage. A bypass solenoid vale downstream of a backflow preventer is controlled via pressure transducer that allows municipal water to be introduced when site-collected rainwater is not available.


more Calendar

3/30/2020 » 3/31/2020
Rainwater Catchment Systems Designers Workshop -#21120

4/1/2020 » 4/2/2020
Rainwater Catchment Systems Installer Workshop #21110

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