BIG Rainwater Catchment System

We recently installed a whopping 45,000 gallon water collection system at the Winter-Flicker Residence in Encinitas! We had the project team out to witness the installation (no easy feat) and to see the two tanks before they are buried. They are made of fiberglass and will be able to withstand heavy loads from above (i.e vehicle traffic), and will make up one of the biggest rainwater catchment systems in all of San Diego.

The 30,000-gallon tank will collect rainwater, which consists of water falling onto the roof and deck surfaces. The 15,000-gallon tank will collect stormwater, which consists of water running into area drains at ground level around the property. Rainwater is considered higher quality than stormwater and can keep in storage longer, so stormwater is used first for irrigation and once it is emptied, rainwater is then utilized.  Only when the rainwater tank is emptied will the landscaping utilize city water. Both will irrigate the 1 acre lot’s landscaping that includes an avocado grove, garden, and other vegetation.

This may seem like an oversized system for an area where it doesn’t rain particularly often, but most are surprised at the amount of water that is able to be collected from daily dew and fog instead of a full rain event. And, a little goes a long way – only 1 inch of rain on a 1,000 square foot roof can generate 620 gallons of water! This system will significantly reduce strain on potable (drinkable) water resources by irrigating the abundant fruit trees and garden with recycled water. The system also plays the important role of reducing stormwater runoff. When it rains, water typically runs off roofs and driveways into the street, picking up fertilizer, oil, pesticides, dirt, and other pollutants as it makes it way through storm drains – untreated – into bodies of water. The catchment system will significantly reduce sediment pollution heading to the nearby ocean.

Water collection systems of any size make a difference in reducing preserving our precious freshwater resources. You can get a rebate through SoCal Water Smart on rain barrels and cisterns here.
Truck with one tank backing up the skinny, 500ft street
Craning the 15,000 gallon tank over the garage
15,000 gallon stormwater tank on the left, 30,000 gallon rainwater tank on the right
The team from left to right: Raul Guzman (labor mgr), Rich Williams & Jeff Adams (AGB), Mike McCarley (placed tanks), Katie Teare (AGB), Barbara Bradley (water catchment engineer), Carl Pallini and Rachel Crawford (interior designers), Amy Flicker (homeowner)
Half buried tanks

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