UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Cistern for UNCG irrigation to boost sustainability

Photo of Cistern installedThis summer, our university installed a 2,500-gallon cistern that will capture rainwater, which will then be used to irrigate areas that don’t have sprinkler systems. That will both cut the amount of rain that flows into the sewer system and also reduce the amount of water the university must purchase from the City of Greensboro for irrigation.

Hal Shelton, director of UNCG Grounds, says, “The cistern is operational and is capturing the rain water off of two different roofs at the Grounds Shop. We were able to do this with a grant that Chad Carwein applied for from the State of North Carolina. We use this to water our annuals and trees around campus that would otherwise be watered with city water.”

In late fall, prior to winterizing the cistern, the remaining water will be pumped into a separate tank and used to make brine for snow removal. This will not only decrease the amount of storm water runoff flowing into the sewer system, but it will also reduce the amount of water the university must purchase from the City of Greensboro.

The water in the cistern is not safe for drinking.

According to the Sustainability office, the surface area of the two roofs combined (2044 sq. ft.) as well as the average annual rainfall in Greensboro (46 inches) results in the cistern potentially harvesting around 58,500 gallons of rainwater a year.

The project was a collaborative effort between the UNCG Grounds Division and the UNCG Office of Sustainability. The Guilford County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) provided technical and financial assistance as well. In fact, about 45 percent of the project is eligible for cost-share funding that will be reimbursed through the Community Conservation Assistance Program (CCAP).

This is the only news regarding campus sustainability. This semester,  the UNCG Green Fund will accept its first grant proposals for campus projects to increase the sustainability of the university. The Green Fund will be funded by a semesterly $2.22/full-time student fee — ratified after students in the UNCGreen student organization campaigned for it. In the first semester, it will have about $25,000 to $30,000 to distribute.