Burnley-Moran Elementary School Gets Rainwater Harvesting System

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Rainwater from the 1,000-gallon container will be used in Burnley-Moran's garden. Rainwater from the 1,000-gallon container will be used in Burnley-Moran's garden.

Students at Burnley-Moran Elementary School are learning firsthand about water conservation.

Charlottesville City Schools and the Public Works Department installed a 1,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system at the school. The rainwater stored will be used in the school's garden.

This is a way to reuse rainwater and teach students at the same time.

"It's a really hands-on way to learn about water conservation because they're seeing it happen right in front of them and they're utilizing that water and it's a great time to teach them and maybe think about other ways in their life they could also be saving water," said Kaitlin Finan, a water conservation coordinator.

Parents and students can learn more about the tank during Burnley-Moran's back-to-school night on September 19.



City of Charlottesville Press Release

The City of Charlottesville Installs Rainwater Harvesting System at Burnley-Moran Elementary   

Charlottesville, VA - In an effort to conserve water at City schools, the Public Works Department has installed a 1,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system at Burnley-Moran Elementary School.  The stored rainwater will be used in the City Schoolyard Garden.  In addition to this system, there have been numerous rainwater tanks installed at City schools.  There is a 2,500 gallon tank at Buford Middle, a 300 gallon tank at Venable Elementary, and a 40,000 gallon underground tank at CHS, along with smaller rain barrels at other schools. These systems capture rainwater runoff and divert it through pipes and a filter to the holding tank.

"This feature will not only save water but also teach students the importance of water conservation.  Reusing rainwater in their garden is beneficial to our water supply, especially in times of drought," says Kaitlin Finan, the Water Conservation Coordinator for the City. The tank at Burnley-Moran can keep the garden supplied with water during a 6-8 week drought.  

These systems also have a beneficial stormwater component; they minimize rainwater's exposure to contaminants before being used in the garden.  Otherwise, the water would runoff the roof into a storm drain, picking up harmful pollutants and debris.  This polluted stormwater runoff ends up in the Rivanna River and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.    

The newly installed rainwater tank is expected to be put to good use this school year. According to Matt Darring, the garden coordinator at Burnley-Moran, "The kids will be fascinated by this.  The parents at a recent workday were definitely excited.  The whole point of the garden is to teach the students to be healthy, to be connected to the natural world, to build on classroom studies, and to use the experiences in the environment to learn.  This rainwater capture system will help us 'close the loop' on the water cycle, conservation, erosion, environmental stewardship, and a host of other lessons."  Hopefully these lessons will be instilled in the students for years to come. Parents and students can learn more about the rainwater tank when it is featured during Burnley-Moran's "Back to School Night" on September 19th.