CatchingH2O is leading the way in creating change and elevating awareness in the power of decentralized systems in creating water resilience for our region! Through innovative projects, collaboration, and community conversation CatchingH2O continues to grow local water resources, and elevate the way San Diegans value water. Check out some of our accomplishments for the year!
This year we installed or supported installation of over 132,000 gallons of new rainwater storage capacity in San Diego, Riverside, Orange, and LA County.
We installed 25 laundry greywater systems, accounting for over 100,000 gallons of water that didn’t have to go through the energy intensive centralized wastewater treatment facility, and instead delivered water and nutrients to trees and shrubs onsite, growing more shade, pollinator habitat, and local food reducing green house gas emissions from the need for imported water, energy for heating/cooling, water treatment, and imported food. Did you know a simple Laundry Greywater system is legal, requires no permit, and can generate 2000 to 6000+ gallons of water per year?
We installed 8 shower greywater systems, which divert more than 160,000 gallons per year from centralized wastewater treatment plants into local oasis! Did you know you can save 10,000 to 30,000+ gallons of water a year by diverting shower greywater to your yard? This can be as simple as rerouting your pipes to flood mulch basins in your yard, or as sophisticated as filtering and pumping the water through an irrigation system.
This year was a very interesting year for us project-wise. Here are three highlights:
In April 2019, Catching H2O commissioned a commercial rainwater capture/recycling system for the Santa Catalina Conservancy in Avalon, California on Catalina Island. The system is located at the new Trailhead facility located near the ferry terminal. This system integrates a rainwater system and desalination system which provides irrigation and indoor nonpotable use. Read more about it here. Using treated rainwater for indoor non-potable use is widespread in other parts of the world, but in Southern California it is rare. We are pioneering the way for more widespread adoption of this opportunity.
In November 2019, Catching H2O commissioned the first greywater system for non-potable indoor use in San Diego county for a residential project located in La Jolla. The system uses a NSF 350 approved ultrafiltration membrane as well as an activated sludge process to ensure the water is free of all contamination, odor and color. Based on the family’s greywater production, landscape and indoor non-potable demand, the greywater is used for 100% of the outdoor irrigation and 100% of the toilet flushing. In addition to the water savings, an advantage of using treated greywater for irrigation is that it can be used above-grade, in this case with drip “shrubblers” that can be more easily monitored and adjusted than subsurface drip. This home was featured on the Green Homes Tour as a model for sustainable development.
Recently we installed a system for a horse ranch in Bonita that makes use of an Artesian well. Our system collects the water in a small sump with a submersible transfer pump that fills a 2500 gallon storage tank. The stored water is now available for many uses at the ranch, including washing down the horses and irrigation. Read more about this system here.
With over a thousand systems under our belt and over a decade of experience, we want to share what we have learned with you and expand the knowledge base throughout the region. This year we collaborated with several organizations to promote and educate our community. We loved teaming up with Coastkeeper San Diego and the San Diego Sustainable Living Institute for this year’s Ride the Tide event. By bike and by car, we travelled through southpark/northpark in the spring and then talmadge/kensington/normal heights in the fall to explore half a dozen successful water harvesters in the neighborhoods. To achieve widespread adoption of these often simple practices, more people need to be exposed to what is possible. Read more about what participants learn from these tours here.
Additionally, in collaboration with the San Diego Sustainable Living Institute we hosted a half dozen hands-on workshops where homeowners and professionals alike learned how to install a laundry greywater system or a rainwater tank. And we are proud to have run San Diego’s first Water Harvesting Certification Course. Thirteen homeowners, contractors, educators, and water agency professionals joined us for 11+ days of onsite, practical experience in installing greywater, rainwater, and stormwater projects throughout San Diego.
We enjoy mentoring students of all ages. We have enjoyed our relationship with High Tech over the years, and mentored two fifth grade classes this year as well as a group of high school students. In addition we worked with interns and project groups from UCSD this year. Our interns worked on data collection and research. And our senior engineering project group worked on soil testing for greywater projects 1-10 years old while creating a GIS map of hundreds of greywater/rainwater harvesting sites throughout San Diego.
We could not have done any of this without our faithful employees, our subcontractors, our partners in the industry, the organizations that support us, and our clients. Collaboration is the key!
As we look ahead into 2020, our goal is to continue to be a leader in innovation and continue to promote more widespread adoption of rainwater and greywater throughout Southern California. As our community continues to adapt to climate change, we know that these strategies are an important part of community resilience. Help us spread the word and continue the conversation in 2020! Make an appointment for a consultation to start your New Year off!