LRWC is excited to announce that our new rainwater harvest and reverse bog system is up and running! This project is LRWC's next step in its mission to conserve waterfowl and wetlands by enabling the Conservancy to reduce, reduce, and recycle one of the world’s most precious commodities, water.
LRWC houses a collection of approximately 400 rare and endangered birds from around the world, inclusive of 85 different species, the majority of which are waterfowl (i.e. ducks, geese, and swans). These birds are critically dependent upon fresh, clean water for their survival, a resource that is becoming increasingly limited.
In an effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle water, the Conservancy partnered with O & G Industries to develop an innovative bog system, designed specifically for water conservation while simultaneously supporting the health of our birds.
This project was completed in two phases, the first phase focused on reducing our water need by collecting and conserving rainwater runoff. To accomplish this, we added gutters to our rearing barns and installed a large underground storage tank. During storm events, rainwater runoff is collected off of the roof and transported to the tank for holding. The storage tank then feeds directly into the newly constructed bog, which was the focus of phase two. The bog connects and provides clean water to four of our front ponds, cycling water throughout each pond before being recycled back into the bog to undergo natural plant remediation for its reuse.
Phase 1: Rainwater Harvest and Storage
LRWC installed gutters along its rearing barns to capture rainwater runoff. These barns have a total surface area of 3,000 sq. feet, which can collect approximately 1,800 gallons of water per one inch of rain. Connecticut receives an average of 51 inches of rain per year, equating to the collection of over 90,000 gallons of water from runoff alone!
Step Two: Reverse Bog System
The collected rainwater is transported from the storage tank into the reverse bog system, flowing between four ponds before entering an underground filtration matrix. This matrix supports water filtration as it flows through smaller and smaller spaces, acting like a sieve. After exiting the matrix, the filtered water is then pumped up and recycled back into the top of the pond.
When the water reaches the top of the pond, a second filtration occurs as the water flows through a man-made “bog” of native Connecticut flora. Wetland plants naturally filter out organic waste and sediment, absorbing nutrients for their own growth. Lastly, the water flows between each pond through a man-made waterfall, which not only enhances the habitat for the birds, but also naturally oxygenates the water.
LRWC is proud to support water conservation and is planning on utilizing the completed bog as an education tool. Anyone interested in learning more about the bog or wanting to schedule a program should contact LRWC's Head of Education, Colleen Peters.