Recent research suggests rain harvesting may have provided the 800 Roman soliders manning Hadrian’s Fort with 10 liters (2.62 gallons) of drinking water per per capita per day during their deployment.
Evidence at Hadrian’s Fort, a strategic Roman outpost along Hadrian’s Wall in northern England, indicates building rooftops were constructed to capture rainfall. The runoff collected in stone-lined tanks, two to six tanks per key building, capable of holding 2 cubic meters (about 528 gallons) of water each.
It’s an amazing feat of foresight, considering Hadrian’s Fort has no internal springs or wells, access to springs or waterways in the region, and an aqueduct supply would have been extremely impractical.
Photo by David Ross
Hadrian’s Wall at Steel Rigg
Twice Brewed, Northumberland, England
Stormwater is not treated before it flows into the North Platte River, so contaminants that enter the storm sewer system can also contaminate the river.
According to regulation, anything other than rain or snowmelt in the storm sewer is an illicit discharge. However, clean water discharges to the gutter – like pumped groundwater, air conditioning condensation, or irrigation water/lawn watering – are typically excused.
If you see or find evidence of substances other than rain or snowmelt in the gutter or near a storm drain please call the stormwater department 630-8011. If the spill is over 25 gallons or you know the substance is hazardous, please call 911.
Capetown’s crisis is in the spotlight now, but other metropolitan areas could soon follow:
Trees play a critical role in managing our city’s stormwater runoff. Enjoy this interactive poster from the Arbor Day Foundation highlighting the role trees play in urban stormwater management.
Stormwater runoff comes from precipitation events and when snow/ice melts onto impervious surfaces. An inch of rain on an acre of land is equivalent to 27,154 gallons of water with a weight of 113 tons. This water transports many pollutants, including but not limited to sediment, oil, grease, fertilizers, bacteria from pet waste, and litter/trash. Stormwater DOES NOT get treated prior to being flushed into waterways.
Take full advantage of the rain showers this spring by redirecting your downspouts onto your yards. Make sure your downspouts deposit rainwater where it can be put to good use. The amount of rainwater that gets into the street will be greatly reduced and your gardens and yards will benefit greatly from it. Remember to try to direct rainwater at least 5 feet from house foundations to prevent potential leakage! For more information visit the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation.
“Rain Barrels” are simple techniques to store rooftop runoff and reuse it for landscaping and other non-potable uses. They are based on the idea that rooftop runoff should be treated as a resource that can be reused or infiltrated. In contrast, conventional stormwater management strategies take rooftop runoff, which is often relatively free of pollutants, and send it into the storm sewer system along with runoff from paved areas.
The most common approach to roof runoff storage involves directing each downspout to a 55 gallon rain barrel. A hose is attached to a faucet at the bottom of the barrel and water is distributed by gravity pressure. For more information on rain barrels please visit: