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Bronx River Watershed Rainwater Harvesting Systems

Thanks to a grant from the New York State Office of the Attorney General, GrowNYC has just finished installing 5 rainwater harvesting systems in the Bronx River Watershed. We partnered with Green Apple Corps and Sustainable South Bronx to make the project a success and to teach others how to build and install systems so that we can divert even more water. In total, we trained 30 residents to build and install RWH systems.

Five students from the Teen Action Program of The Point Community Development Corporation in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx monitored the 5 rainwater harvesting systems. They participated in a half-day workshop led by GrowNYC staff on water quality monitoring, where they learned how to use dissolved oxygen and pH testing equipment and the NYC water supply and the route it takes, including CSO. The monitoring strategy was to test oxygen and pH on a bi-weekly basis and compare and learn from results.

Based on our metrics, the following five systems are diverting approximately 64,430 gallons annually during growing season from storm sewers and the Bronx River.

River Garden (1086 East 180 Street): This garden is used by residents of the surrounding community and has approximately 30 members. Gardeners grow vegetables, flowers, herbs; tend to common plantings, compost, hold barbecues. We Installed a wing-type rainwater harvesting structure with integrated tool shed and a 300 gallon tank. The structure was built by Sustainable South Bronx under GrowNYC staff supervision.

Belmont Little Farmers (2485 Belmont Avenue): Installed a 500 gallon tank to divert rainwater from the adjacent building. The structure was built by Green Apple Corps under GrowNYC staff supervision.

Hispanos Unidos (2061 Honeywell Avenue): The roof of the garden casita was repaired to serve as the collection area associated with a 200 gallon rainwater collection tank. A downspout from an adjacent private home was also diverted into a 1,100 gallon rainwater collection tank.

Krystal Garden (2089 Vyse Avenue): A downspout was diverted from the adjacent multistory building into the garden and rain is collected in a 1,000 gallon rainwater collection tank. The project was installed by GrowNYC staff and community gardeners

Volky Flower Garden (859 Hornaday Avenue): The project involved re-framing, re-decking and re-shingling a casita/ shade structure roof, providing the collection area for 300 gallon and 250 gallon rain water collection tanks.