Green infrastructure practices, such as above and below ground cisterns, can be used to capture storm water and reuse it later. Rain from nearby rooftops can be directed into cisterns rather than into storm sewers, preventing associated pollution and erosion from impacting nearby waterways. The captured water can then either be slowly released to avoid scour and erosion, or reused to water plants, gardens and landscaped areas.

Above ground cisterns are typically placed next to buildings with large impervious rooftops to capture runoff. This example of an above ground cistern, located in Saint Paul, MN, incorporates art, education, and function into a proactive storm water management device that doubles as a tangible statement for water resource awareness. 

Below ground cisterns can be installed underneath large, open areas such as parks, parking lots, or sports and play courts. Below ground cisterns usually have higher capacity than above ground systems, and are insulated from cold weather. Pumps attached to the cisterns provide access to the captured water, creating a low-cost resource to use for irrigation and landscape needs.

For more information on using cisterns to capture rain for reuse later, contact an expert today.

Photo credit

About the Author

Maureen Schneider

Maureen A. Schneider
Project Engineer

Maureen is passionate about finding effective, efficient, and environmentally sustainable solutions to engineering problems. She has experience in the development of storm water management plans, stream restoration projects, regulatory permit processes, agricultural pollutant reduction program implementation, and other storm water quality improvement projects. Maureen has been with Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. since 2017.

More Recent Articles