Seven acres of roof collects a huge amount of water during rain and snow events.
Now a system has been installed to flush the toilets used by the thousands and thousands of sports and entertainment fans using the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
"It’s going to capture rainwater from the roof and prevent it from getting into the storm sewer system which can cause pollution to overflow into our lakes and streams. In addition to that we are going to save money so it’s going to have an economic dimension since we won’t have to buy all that water from the municipal water supply. It’s going to recycle, reuse the water that hits the roof of the building," said Rachael May, the SU coordinator of sustainability.
But it’s not as simple as just re-directing the run off since other things are collected on the roof in addition to rain and snow.
"There are birds up there doing what they do so we have to develop a little more complicated system by putting in some particulate filters and some disinfectant structure," said David Chandler, a SU associate professor of civil & environmental engineering.
This project could help change the way engineering deals with storm water run off.
"The more we have projects like this the more the engineering community has evidence to see how they work and occasionally how they fail so that we can improve design," said Chandler.