Milwaukee County Parks
Innovation: Green infrastructure/rain recycling projects
More than 25,000 students tour Milwaukee County Parks’ Mitchell Park Conservatory (The Domes) each year.
Now, those students will have a unique opportunity to learn more about sustainability, efficiency and managing storm water by observing the Domes’ new green infrastructure projects.
The projects were recently completed, and were designed to catch and recycle more rainwater where it falls.
Through a series of new products, including cisterns, green roofs and permeable pavement, the Mitchell Park Domes are not only able to collect rainwater, but also reuse it in a variety of ways on the property.
Water absorbed through the porous pavement at the Domes is collected and used to supply park fountains in the summer, and also keeps rain water and runoff out of the city’s sewer system.
The new green roof helps with water pollution issues and makes for more efficient heating and cooling of the facility.
The rooftop system has the ability to store nearly 80,000 gallons of rainwater in underground storage systems. The water is automatically filtered and redistributed as irrigation inside the greenhouses.
Since their installation, the new projects have collected enough rainfall for the Domes to last seven months without paying for city-supplied water. According to county officials, the system has the ability to collect approximately 38,000 gallons of water for every one inch of rain.
These savings can be passed on to the taxpayer by reducing the amount of tap water Milwaukee County Parks must purchase.