Carrie Wassenaar is an environmentally conscious homeowner in North Hollywood who is doing her part to aid in the effort towards stopping the drought in California, and ultimately, the water crisis across the globe.
She is doing this by participating in a pilot program for a new technology, the StormCatcher system, designed to equip homes with a system that catches rainwater and stores it in 1,300 gallon tanks that sit in the backyard of a residential home. Wassenaar has stated, “I try to be responsible. I want to feel like I’m doing my best to live efficiently.”
From the engineering firm Tetra Tech, along with nonprofit TreePeople, the city of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County, the pilot program includes 10 homes with the hope that StormCatcher will be used by residences across the county.
Wassenaar’s home is now outfitted with gutters and downspouts that collect the water within a 900-square-foot area and funnel it down into the large tanks in her yard. She told reporters, “people say, ‘I don’t want a tank in my yard because it’s an eyesore,’ but I think I’m lucky to have it.”
The tank can drain into a “rain garden,” a low-lying area in the front yard that is made of stones and rocks so that water pools there and not in the street. Over time, that pooled water seeps through the ground and into a groundwater basin, regenerating the aquifer.
The whole system is controlled by a computerized system attached to the sign of Wassenaar’s house. The controller monitors water level in the tank, the release of water into the rain garden, and provides data to those conducting the pilot program.
These systems will not only help areas affected by drought, but they can also help with areas prone to flooding, making it a product marketable across the entire country.