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Sustainable Water Source at Sugar Creek Garden

We’ve had the good fortune at SCG (a branch of the Oakhurst Community Garden Project) to use City of Decatur water for our first year of urban farming success.  However, tapping into city resources are (arguably) not sustainable, and here we have the opportunity to harvest water from neighboring residences that is considered ‘waste.’  Sump pumps on third avenue residences work just about year-round to pipe groundwater from a high water table in peoples’ basements into nearby Sugar Creek.  The 1700 gallon cistern was installed in May 2011 by the Rain Harvest Company (we Love the Rain harvest company) with help from City of Decatur (who we also love!) and is designed to be a catchment, placed between the sump pipe and the creek.  Of course in the wet season, it dumps much more water than we can use, so the cistern overflows excess into the existing pipe to Sugar Creek.  We havent tested the water, but consider it not potable.  It is clear, without sediment, and we are considering it safe for garden watering.  As the sump flow is near consistent, we hope that it will be enough to serve most (or all) garden’s watering needs.

Another small tank adjacent to the cistern is filled and pressurized at the action of a hand-powered pump, making the water pressure- ready for the garden.  We are installing drip irrigation to each of the veggie beds…. and the strawberries planted in straw bales that have been hanging on for dear life in this dry heat.  There will be a tap, also, that we can use to water fruit trees and various plants around, as needed.  Horray!  We are so grateful for the opportunity to have a sustainable watering system for our local urban garden!

Big thanks to the City of Decatur, GA- Gerry Knotts, David Junger and the annual beer festival grant for making this possible.  Many thanks to Paul Morgan of the Rain Harvest Company for the technical experience and un-paralleled professional execution.

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  1. […] In June 2010, the garden met one of it’s goals by creating access to a sustainable water source.  With the installation of a 1,700 gallon cistern installed by the Rain Harvest Company, the garden is now harvesting water from nearby residents’ sump pumps.  “Sump pumps on third avenue residences work just about year-round to pipe groundwater from a high water table in peoples’ basements into nearby Sugar Creek.”  The cistern acts as a catchment, placed between the sump pipe and the creek, and another small cistern adjacent to the large tank is pressurized at the action of  hand pump, creating water pressure for the garden’s use. Read more about it HERE. […]

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