Rainwater Harvesting Part 2: hands-on workshop

This is Part 2 of a two-part class that can be taken in combination or separately. Tyler Caruso, a student at Pratt's Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, has designed this class for people who are interested in learning more about rainwater harvesting in non-potable applications, such as landscape irrigation. In the face of the global climate crisis, rainwater harvesting is a simple step to many pollution problems. When it rains in New York City, impervious surfaces such as rooftops, driveways, parking lots and streets funnel large volumes of rainwater into the sewer system. But storms that produce over an inch of rain overwhelm the waste-water treatment plant, which then discharges raw untreated sewage mixed with the storm-water into the surrounding rivers and harbor and bays (this is also called combined sewer overflow or CSO). Making matters even worse, most of the rainwater is also turned into run-off, accumulating pollutants on the pavement and carrying them into the surrounding bodies of water. Millions and millions of gallons of fresh water are lost due to both of these conditions every year. But by feeding some of this storm-water into a rain garden, we can each contribute to minimizing these problems, as well as recharging the ground water and enriching our garden soil. Plants much prefer rainwater to chlorinated city water. The workshop will offer a mix of practical information (i.e.; how to calculate how much rainwater comes off your home, the function and design of rain gardens, and more) as well as hands-on experience as we implement a design and install an actual rain garden.

PART 1: Saturday July 31
1-3:30 pm
The Saturday afternoon presentation (with Q &A) will provide an overview of rainwater harvesting: techniques—active and passive methods of water collection, history, best management practices, and applicability to conserving rainfall as a natural resource. PART 2 Sunday August 1
11 am -3:00 pm The Sunday workshop is geared towards do-it-yourself types who want to learn about installing their own rainwater harvesting systems. During lunch there will be an opportunity to meet individually to discuss your rainwater plans and projects.

$40 for Sunday alone; $10 for Saturday alone; $45 for both. All suggested; pay what you can.

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