Low Impact Living gives the Low Down On Living Green
I recently saw another solution at a green show here in LA – the Rainwater Pillow, designed by Jim Harrington, a landscape designer in the Atlanta area. It’s basically a big flat rubber bag that allows you to store and then reuse rainwater for landscape purposes.
The beauty of the system is that the pillows have capacities ranging from 1,000 up to 40,000 gallons, can be installed as a DIY project on Saturday afternoon , flatten out when not filled, and can be easily located in that unused space in your basement or crawlspace, out of sight but protected. They come with all of the prefilters, pumps, tubing and fittings needed to connect it to your drainage and irrigation systems, and also with a remote control so you can operate the pump from anywhere nearby.
I had some concerns at first. Rodent damage? Check – very strong materials used. How about stagnation / septic issues with the water? Check – very simple process using household bleach deals with that. How about freezing? Check - safe by design down to -30 degrees (except for pump and fittings, which must be protected). Cost? That’s where a little bit of “ouch” creeps in – they are a bit pricey (starting at $2,500 list price, although I’d hope there might be some negotiating room in these difficult economic times). They won’t pay for themselves anytime soon at that price, but if you’re considering graywater systems, cisterns or an army of rain barrels then you’re already thinking of making a substantial investment.
Other folks think they’re pretty swell too – This Old House just listed them as one of the greatest new green products.