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For their boutique Longleaf Hotel, the developers at Loden Properties knew they wanted the restored motor lodge to emphasize sustainability, recycling and other eco-friendly features. That’s why, this past spring, they added six new, eye-catching—and rain-catching— cisterns to the property via a cost-sharing program offered by the City of Raleigh.
Kristin Freeman, a communications specialist in the city’s engineering services department, says cisterns are one of the most cost-effective sustainable features a business can use, as they’re a great way to conserve rainwater and can help offset water pollution.
“Instead of rainwater going from the roof to a storm drain, or into the Pigeon House Branch stream, the water is collected in the cisterns and can be used on the property,” Freeman explains. “Because of [Longleaf’s] proximity to downtown, this stream can be more polluted than others, so the cisterns are very valuable.”
Longleaf uses the first inch of rain that is saved in the cisterns for irrigation and landscaping, while any excess water flows from the cisterns to planted areas on the property. The water soaks into the ground, where the soil cleans it out before it runs down into the stream. The cisterns are part of the volunteer-based, City of Raleigh-funded project Raleigh Rainwater Rewards, in which any resident or business can volunteer to pay for a cistern on their property and get reimbursed between 75 percent to 90 percent of the total cost of the project.
Learn more about qualifying and applying for the Raleigh Rainwater Rewards project at raleighnc.gov/projects/content/PWksStormwater/Articles/StormwaterQualityCostShareProgram.html
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