Guelph Rainwater Research

Rainwater Harvesting Diagram

This concept may not be overly fitting for Windsor’s current financial hardship in terms of unit costs, but rainwater harvesting units could prove to be very cost-effective in the long-run.

Research has and is being done at the University of Guelph to produce a successful rainwater harvesting system. The system was designed by two engineering graduate students in collaboration with a local supplier of rainwater harvesting technology.

According to University of Guelph, the harvesting process goes like this: “Rainwater that lands on the home’s fiberglass roof will be collected in roof gutters and downspouts and diverted to a filtration device before it is carried to a 6,500 litre underground cistern. The stored water will be pressurized and piped into the home to supply water to three toilets, the washing machine, and the dishwasher. The collected rainwater will also supply water to an underground irrigation system. This would account for over 50% of water consumption in a typical home.”

I was unable to find photos of the U of Guelph version of this project, but did find some diagrams which visually explain the process quite well.


16 Responses to “Guelph Rainwater Research”
  1. Justin says:

    Nice find, I know some students in this semester’s Green Corridor class were working on a rainwater filtration system, using gravel, sand, and (in the spring) plants. For their project, the water would just be used for the garden… I think the new medical building on campus also employed some grey water reuse for flushing the toilets.

  2. Darren says:

    It reminds me of how negligent new home builders are these days. I wonder when people and builders are going to start thinking ahead. I think we’ve become too lazy in our thinking here.

  3. Joshua says:

    I agree with the negligence comment. If people are installing elevators for their homes at almost 100k in Detroit, why can’t this be done more often? My guess is that it’s still being developed. Would grey water be any water used by the toilet, sink, etc?

  4. Darren says:

    I loved this video showing how simple it is, but up here in the north I know we have to deal with the cold weather and freezing. Just because we have so much fresh water around us though, we shouldn’t take it for granted.

    Even solar panels should be used more on new construction. While I know they’re expensive, why aren’t they used more on new homes or businesses? Wind generation is something else which is under used but i’m glad to see it moving into our area recently. Even just one wind turbine in a subdivision could power things like streetlights, and other lighting. Instead so much energy is spent building huge garages on homes, which I think is such a waste.

  5. Joshua says:

    I didn’t know people install them above-ground. Interesting. Are solar panels really that expensive? I would assume wind turbines are not cheap.

  6. Darren says:

    that one was on the roof of a building i think.

    i have no idea how expensive solar panels are, but if i was buying a house, i would gladly have them over the cost of adding a garage. it always blows my mind how people want to give their cars a house to live in.

  7. Tom Lucier says:

    solar panels run almost $10,000 for the average home. I would love to get them for my home, and I might, but it’s a heck of an investment, and lots of municipalities offer subsidized solar panels. Alas, this broken city is not one of them.

  8. Darren says:

    i think this is current tom:

    if the city doesn’t, not sure if those incentives will help people in windsor.

  9. Justin says:

    Thinking about wind turbines needs to be shifted, right now most development is focused on large-scale wind farms… if every building had a small-scale built into the infrastructure of the building, it might make a lot more sense. As well, the city has a ban on wind turbines due to their size…

    I think someone in 3rd year sculpture is going to attempt to build a working urban-scale turbine made from essentially spare parts (old metal barrel, car batteries, used alternators, etc) next semester… would be good to keep an eye out for it.

  10. Darren says:

    there’s a small wind turbine just down the street from me though. i should try to get a photo of it. it’s not huge, but still generates electricity. it’s in the back of a place called A Windsor Starter Alternator & Batteries
    3421 Wyandotte St E . I haven’t looked for it lately though so it might be gone, but was there for quite a while and makes sense to go along with the business. i wonder if they used it as a model for one they were selling. I’ll look into it tomorrow.

  11. Darren says:

    this is their site:

    and you can see they promote alternative energy

  12. Tom Lucier says:

    That retrofitting energy deal is for insulation and heat saving technology, but not for solar panels…as far as I know.

  13. Darren says:

    Thanks Tom, I misread the page. I see that place I posted about above here though has some interesting info on wind power. We walked by it on the big walk. From what Justin said I don’t think you can use wind power in Windsor. But they have/ad a wind turbine behind their shop. It’s too dark for me to see now, but I will look for it tomorrow. It was about the same size as the one shown in the photos on their site.

  14. Darren says:

    it was good to see this on the discovery channel yesterday

    using water to generate power through this huge tunnel they’re digging. clean energy.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] blue collar jobs (manufacturing solar panels, education and training for living roof installation, ecological water collection and filtration system installation, etc., etc.) we might be THE LEADING CITY and an example to the rest of the country. I mean, where […]

  2. […] not tap the rain as alternative source of water? Install a rainwater collection system. Not your usual water-barrel-under-the-downspout (though that would be a simple and affordable […]

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