Missouri State University and Watershed Committee of the Ozarks have completed the construction of a rainwater collection system at the MSU William H. Darr Agricultural Center. This project is part of the Big Urbie stormwater grant to improve water quality and reduce stormwater runoff.
“This is an excellent first rainwater collection project for the university, especially since it can be demonstrated as a practical application to those who come to Darr Ag Center seeking better and more sustainable ideas for their immediate or future business,” said Bob Eckels, director of facilities management at Missouri State.
The rainwater collection system can capture 20,000 gallons of water from the roof of Pinegar Arena to store in underground tanks. The water is used for dust suppression inside the arena. Rainwater harvesting reduces the amount of runoff and conserves drinking water.
“I believe this project is a great step forward in Missouri State’s mission to sustainability. Collecting and using rainwater, rather than domestic water, will be utilizing our natural resources very efficiently,” said student Max Wagner, chief sustainability commissioner in the Student Government Association.
Impervious surfaces such as roofs, parking lots and streets result in more stormwater runoff than undeveloped land. Runoff can pick up pollution as it travels across impervious surfaces and yards. Increased runoff can affect the water quality and aquatic life in local streams.
“The water reclamation project at the Darr Agricultural Center is the result of tireless efforts by many groups,” added Dr. Anson Elliott, head of the Darr School of Agriculture at Missouri State University. “It now serves in meeting the tangible goal of saving water at the Center but also for meaningful educational programs.”
This is one of many projects funded by the Springfield-Greene County Urban Watershed Stewardship Project (nicknamed Big Urbie), a $1.1 million federal grant awarded to Watershed Committee of the Ozarks in 2011 by U.S. EPA Region 7 through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources under section 319 of the Clean Water Act. Learn more about the project at www.bigurbie.org
Missouri State Campus Construction served as the general contractor with engineering services provided by Geosyntec Consultants. The 10 polyethylene underground tanks were supplied by Free Water Systems. Matching funds and in-kind assistance was provided by The Sustainability Commission of the Missouri State University Student Government Association, and grant partners the City of Springfield Stormwater Engineering Division, Greene County Resource Management.
For more information, contact: Stacey Armstrong, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks Projects Manager, (417) 866-1127.