Report focuses on role of water, rainwater harvesting in sustainable design

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HARTLAND, WI, Dec. 1, 2009 -- A new white paper on the role of water in the green building movement notes that the bulk of building projects in the U.S. miss out on one of the most potentially significant water conservation opportunities: rainwater catchment and reuse.

The seventh in a series of annual white papers published by Building Design+Construction, the report titled "Green Buildings + Water Performance," points out that more water is consumed outside buildings and homes -- for landscape irrigation and cooling towers -- than is used inside for toilets, faucets and showers. The white paper reports that "82 percent of the total water consumed in the U.S. goes to irrigation" and that "the reuse of water may be the next big thing in water conservation, efficiency, and performance."

Illustration of the SkyHarvester rainwater harvesting system.
"We're using fresh domestic drinking water to irrigate grass and replenish cooling towers," says Rick Reinders, president of Watertronics, manufacturer of SkyHarvester™ rainwater harvesting systems and one of the sponsors of the report. "By harvesting rainwater, you're reusing that water, and it's not going into the treatment system. That not only saves water but also relieves pressure on sewer and septic systems."

Reinders says the report is especially timely because rainwater harvesting systems not only save water, they are also a key component of LEED® from the U.S. Green Building Council, earning up to 12 points. LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to encourage sustainable green building and development practices.

According to the report, many rainwater harvesting systems are custom-engineered from various components but a few packaged systems are now available.

"Rainwater harvesting systems are becoming increasingly popular among commercial builders and engineers," says Reinders. "What has been missing is a strong, single-source national supplier to provide integrated design and customized solutions. SkyHarvester offers a single-source solution for commercial rainwater harvesting systems at new or existing building sites."

Common sites for rainwater harvesting include commercial building roofs, parking lots, synthetic turf fields, grass runoff and even air conditioning condensation. Reinders says SkyHarvester systems can be added to existing sites at any time but are ideally integrated during the building planning phase.

Rainwater collection tanks are stored above or below ground. SkyHarvester tanks range in size with a typical capacity being 20,000 gallons and maximum capacity around 1 million gallons.

"Our systems can help companies reduce potable water needs by up to 80 percent and can even pay for themselves in a few years," Reinders says. "SkyHarvester systems can increase commercial property values and may be eligible for tax and other financial incentives from local and other governmental entities."

For more information on commercial rainwater harvesting systems, including case studies and an animated video about SkyHarvester water conservation systems, visit www.SkyHarvester.com.

To download a copy of the "Green Buildings + Water Performance" white paper from Building Design + Construction, visit: http://www.skyharvester.com/downloads.php.

About Watertronics
Watertronics, a division of Lindsay Corporation, is a global manufacturer of custom pump stations, from 20 to 100,000 gallons per minute. Based in Hartland, WI, Watertronics has been designing and manufacturing custom pumping solutions for golf, landscape, municipal and agricultural use for over 30 years. Watertronics is a member of the Alliance for Sustainable Built Environments.

The company's SkyHarvester division offers a single-source solution for commercial rainwater harvesting systems that are eligible for up to 12 LEED building credits and can help businesses significantly reduce their municipal water consumption. Additional information can be found at www.SkyHarvester.com.

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