Wahaso - Water Harvesting Solutions

Case study - Client: Mercy Housing, Chicago, IL


Courtesy of Courtesy of Wahaso - Water Harvesting Solutions

Project: Rainwater for irrigation, greywater for toilet flushing. The Margot and Harold Schiff Residences, 1244 N. Clybourn, Chicago, IL. 2007. This project for Mercy Housing Lakefront, combines a cost-effective and nationally recognized approach to ending and preventing homelessness with major design innovations in an important community setting. Each unit has a private bath, kitchen, central air and heat. The building’s design also includes common areas and outdoor space for activities, socializing and education.

Challenge: Support efforts to demonstrate sustainability in 96-unit housing building with both rainwater and greywater harvesting systems. Supply enough greywater to flush nearly 100 toilets without needing to use municipal water.

Solution: Wahaso worked with building engineers to install twin systems that handle and store greywater and rainwater separately so that each can serve different uses. Water from the apartment showers, bath tubs and sinks is directed through a different waste system than the toilets to the basement where it is filtered , sterilized and then stored in a 1,000 gallon tank. Rainwater is channeled from the roof through a separate filtering system and stored in a 500 gallon tank.

Results: The greywater harvesting system is able to supply 100% of the water requirements for flushing toilets in the building’s 96 units. The modest rainwater storage capacity is able to supply all water needed for irrigation due to the use of prairie grasses that do not require large amounts of water between rain events. The City of Chicago views the building as an important demonstration project in pioneering the feasibility of similar systems in other building projects.

Other Significant Projects
Wahaso is engaged in dozens of projects that each present a unique set of challenges and opportunities for water harvesting. The following is a partial list of current projects that exemplify the range of harvesting challenges we have addressed. We'd love to help you with your project.

Client: Government Services Administration
Social Security Administration, Harold Washington Building, Chicago, IL
 Retrofit existing 1970's era building: Harvest rainwater, condensate and groundwater to flush toilets, irrigate landscaping, make-up boiler water and cooling-tower water

Fields Volvo Dealership, Northfield, IL
The world's 'greenest' Volvo dealership is coming to the Chicago area, and Wahaso is helping - with a system that will deliver rooftop rainwater to above and below-ground cisterns that will be used to irrigate the property's landscaping and flush all its toilets. Completion is planned for 2011.  

Sanitation Building, City of New York, NY
Half of all garbage trucks in New York City will have a new home sometime in late 2011 when this LEED certified building is completed. A 81,000 square foot roof will be green with plantings and collect rainwater for reuse. The Wahaso designed system will also harvest steam condensate from the heating system. Harvested water will irrigate, flush toilets and wash trucks. An estimated 3.8 million gallons of municipal water will be saved annually.

WMS Gaming World Headquarters, Chicago, IL
Rainwater from the 38,000 square foot roof of the new WMS Gaming headquarters will be captured into an 8,000 gallon fiberglass tank and harvested to flush toilets throughout the building. Nearly 200,000 gallons of municipal water will be saved annually.  

City of Madison, WI
New fire station seeking LEED Platinum certification was completed in 2009. Rooftop rainwater is captured into three 3,200 gallon steel CorGal tanks for irrigation and fire drills.

West Ridge Elementary School, City of Chicago, IL
New elementary school seeking LEED certification: Harvest rainwater for garden irrigation and educational purposes; custom data interface to track water harvested

U.S. Military, Cherry Point, N.C.
Two new bachelors enlisted quarters building: Rainwater & greywater harvesting to flush toilets.

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