Rainwater Catchment: Educational System on the UW Farm

Executive Summary:

We are looking to implement a rainwater harvesting system on the UW Farm for farm use and campus wide education. This system would be located beside the Burke-Gilman on the UW Farm and will be installed on a renovated sign roof. We estimate this project to cost $465.00, and is estimated to save approximately 250 gallons of water per year. This project is designed to educate people on rainwater harvesting as well as inspire them to imagine future capabilities.

Student Involvement:

Our project does not involve any student jobs, but has numerous volunteer opportunities.

Leadership – This is a student-led project with a student-written grant proposal and organization of logistics.
Builders – Two or three students will work on physically building the roof structure and gutter system. They will acquire tools, pick up necessary materials, cut wood to size, take the old roof apart, build the new one, attach the gutters and tank, and install the sign.
Engineers – An engineering student will review our roof design details and give us feedback on the structural components behind it.
Signage – One student will be in contact with the sign-making company to take the sign design in to be printed and pick up the sign.
Maintenance and use – A group of students will maintain the system and ensure it is used properly and regularly on the farm.
Education – Farm students will include our rainwater system as a part of farm tours.

Education & Outreach:

Our project will be publicized to the campus through a variety of ways including our educational signage, which will be visible from the Botany Greenhouse, the UW Farm, and the Burke- Gilman trail; UW Farm tours for biology, environmental studies, and elementary school classes; and interest in the Program on the Environmentʼs Sustainability Studio, where the development and procedure for this project are documented in the final course report, accessible online. We will also email the UW farm listserv and spread the word of our project completion through various social media outlets.

We specifically want to educate UW students on possibilities for alternative forms of water conservation and stormwater reduction that can take place in an urban environment. The idea is that if we can show how we are able to collect a couple hundred galleons of water from a simple signboard roof, this will inspire others to consider what they can do with larger surface areas such as actual building roofs. We hope that this will spur students and staff on to considering possibilities for larger scale rainwater harvesting systems on campus.

Environmental Impact:
  • Water
Project Longevity:

Environmental Problem:

Stormwater is the UWʼs weakest aspect of water sustainability on campus, and our system is
designed to provide minimal stormwater reduction and water conservation. However, it helps
create a much needed awareness of stormwater, and the detrimental effects of our stormwater
on campus. This project allows for cross-campus education, as well as to the public, so that the
message of stormwater can reach far beyond our system and make an impact on a much lager

Explain how the impacts will be measured:

Our small system has the ability to save around 250 gallons of water per year. This information
is based off of a 15sq. ft. roof and 36 inches of annual rainfall; our formula accounted for the fact
that only approximately 70% of the water would be harvested.

Total amount requested from the CSF: $465
This funding request is a: Grant
If this is a loan, what is the estimated payback period?:


ItemCost per ItemQuantityTotal Cost
Metal sign$801$80
Downspout clip$2.911$2.91
Piece of gutter$15.042$30.08
Outside box miter$9.974$39.88
40-gallon rain barrel$100.001$100.00
Gutter sealant $5.001$5.00
Cinder block$6.001$6.00
Roof panel$12.983$38.94
Shipping costs$40.00$40.00
Unforseen expenditure$35.16$35.16

Non-CSF Sources:

Project Completion Total: $465


TaskTimeframeEstimated Completion Date
Finishing details on roof construction plan1 weekApril 16th
Purchase and receive materials for roof, gutter, and tank system2 weeksApril 30th
Order sign2 weeksApril 30th
Take down roof1 weekMay 3rd
Build new roof2 weeksMay 18th
Attach gutters and tank2 weeksJune 1st
Install sign1 weekJune 5th
Organize group of students to maintain the system1 month and a halfJune 7th

Project Approval Forms: