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An investigation into south campus storm water catchment and filtration technologies

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In this report, research concerning the possibility of capturing rainwater for use at the UBC Farm during the dry months of the year was conducted. Currently, the UBC Farm relies on the City of Vancouver for most of its water needs, and the prices during the peak season (summer) can get very expensive. However, since water usage during said season is also at its peak, the total cost is very high. Therefore, a solution to tackle the problem of reliance on city water is needed. The current infrastructure at the UBC Farm allows for many solutions to be implemented for solving this issue. The constraints that had to be taken into account had to do with how easy is it to maintain a certain solution, and how expensive is it to implement. As for assumptions, it was assumed that there is enough space to build, for example, a cistern, or a wet pond. These assumptions were verified by visiting the Farm and asking employees for information about available space, as well as infrastructure. To come up with adequate solutions, many studies done by several universities were consulted, as well as systems that were proven to work on the field that were built by users across the globe. Many manufacturers’ websites were also used for research, but this was limited to filters that can be used in conjunction with other solutions. The main three studies that were taken into account, and that were discussed in this report, include an underground detention system for rainwater that was collected from parking lots, a system that used rooftops as a mean of catching rainwater then passed it through a chain of filters all the way into a detention tank or cistern. Then a wet pond solution for catching any rainwater that is flowing on the ground which also incorporates natural filtering of the water. It was found that all three solutions can introduce considerable savings in water usage during the peak season, however, the most cost effective and easy to implement solution is the wet pond. This solution will work quite well since the UBC Farm already has space in which a wet pond can be built, and the ground is sloped towards it which also minimizes any landscape changes. More research was done to validate whether the wet pond is the ideal solution, and it was found that the latter can save the UBC Farm a total $12,000 for the entire lifetime of the wet pond which is about 25 years. Thus it is recommended that the wet pond solution be implemented because it meets all the constraints, and it will also help the UBC Farm save a considerable amount of money, while also decreasing its reliance on water from the City of Vancouver. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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