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HSU Urban Rainwater Catchment

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  • The future happened yesterday

Background[edit]

The Urban Rain Catchment System, or URCS is our first attempt at appropriate innovations towards sustainable existence. URCS is a very simple concept: Create a means of rain catchment that can be constructed and utilized by any person regardless of their access to modern amenities. The guiding principle behind URCS is to assuage the detriment of modern consumption and lifestyle on the environment, to which we owe everything.

History[edit]

faces behind Ursee-S .
fig. 1 Faces

This rad system, URCS was conceived in the confined quarters of the Eco-Dorms of Humboldt State University. It all began with the creation of a small garden on our patio, which was being pummeled by water from our overflowing gutters. So the eco-inhabitants set about creating a means to shield the plants from the torrential downpours of the northern Cali coast, while simultaneously catching the flow and rerouting this resource into a beneficial outlet. Also due to the material factors pressing upon us as college students, this project was completed through thrift and cunning... and many many trips to the local recycling center, where dreams are made. Let us us not forget the importance of innovation and community resource utilization!

  • There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed. ~Mohandas K. Gandhi
  • There's so much pollution in the air now that if it weren't for our lungs there'd be no place to put it all. ~Robert Orben
  • Modern technology Owes ecology An apology. ~Alan M. Eddison
  • Don't blow it - good planets are hard to find. ~Quoted in Time
  • Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites. ~William Ruckelshaus, Business Week, 18 June 1990
  • We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

Development needs[edit]

A small patio, window, or any open space that has contact with rain. Also a knowledge of basic construction techniques will aide in this process.

Costs[edit]

Materials[edit]

Supplies
Plastic sheeting Wood Container Tubing nails, hooks & thumbtacks total
$10-$20 $15-$25 $15 $7-$13 $2-$5 $49-$78


Tools[edit]

  • Hammer
  • nails/thumbtacks
  • Knife


Estimated time of construction[edit]

This is a simple outline of an endless array of possibilities and variations. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours. In the end it is up to you, the builder, and your specific needs and wants. Because we designed our URCS to fit our needs exactly, it was a multi-week process of testing out its efficiency.

Specifications[edit]

In the case of our specific garden the rain catchment system serves not only as a collection system but also as a means to protect our plants from the torrential downpours that might otherwise destroy them. So In our 5' by 3' garden box we used a 7' by 4' sheet of industrial plastic to shield it. In all reality, like most of the variables in this project, this is completely up the the builder and their specific needs to decide what is best. This specific material was utilized because it was easily accessible.

Construction instructions[edit]

SET UP[edit]

Fig.1 Garden pre-Ursee-S Construction
Fig.2 Step 1 wrap that wood
Fig.3 Step 2 apply hooks to wood
Fig.4 Hooks into the walls
Fig.5 Interlocking hooks
Fig.6 The finished product
  1. Roll Plastic, roughly 1 ft, onto wood and secure with thumbtacks
  2. Apply hooks to wood
  3. Apply hooks to intended hanging spot
  4. Secure gutter attachment, or any means of directing water

Water Storage[edit]

Water storage can be realized in a plethora of ways

Realistically the only thing that matters, in terms of water storage is that it is an airtight, or as close to as possible, container, this is to prevent the production of mosquitoes.