Saving Raindrops

September 02, 2020 at 4:20 PM

The supply of water has been a hot topic in the Auckland region in recent months with the long-term solution yet to be resolved. We’ve learnt it takes a lot of raindrops to fill Auckland’s water catchment dams. We all know the importance of saving water and yet, with every downpour, we also see large volumes of rainwater going to waste.

The College has a long-term sustainability plan and when the MacFarlan Centre, the main administration building at the entrance to the campus, was built, few people knew that a large holding tank was installed underneath the building. This collects rainwater from the roof to feed all the toilet facilities in the MacFarlan Centre and for watering the surrounding gardens.

Likewise, during the building works for the Sports Centre extension that opened almost three years ago, three tanks were placed in the ground on the field side for collecting rainwater, again for use in all the toilets throughout the building.

Today, the College took possession of eighteen 30,000 litre tanks, with the tanks being installed this week.

Six tanks have been placed behind the storage sheds at the lower end of the campus by the Rowing Shed and two feeds will be provided from them – one for washing down the rowers’ boats each time they come off the Estuary, and a further feed to the toilets in the Rowing Shed.

A further two tanks have been placed by the Maintenance Building to be used for the washing of all the College vans and the machinery used to maintain the College grounds so beautifully.

The Music Centre, located below the College swimming pool, was the original College Gymnasium before the current Sport Centre was built, hence the high, vaulted roof covering a large surface area. Ten tanks will be placed behind the Music Centre and the water saved from the roof catchment will serve to top up the swimming pool. In addition to this, some years ago, solar heating pipes were installed on the roof of the Music Centre to heat the pool, adding to our energy saving.

It is said that the worst thing we can do for our planet is hope that someone else will save it. We all have a part to play in protecting resources and finding sustainable ways of conducting our personal and working lives. Last year, dance teacher, Mr Ichiro Harada, led a personal crusade in the staff room to encourage staff to bring their own mugs and not use disposable cups at the coffee machine. Such was the power of one person’s message that over the course of last year, hundreds and hundreds of cups and their plastic lids were no longer destined for the landfill.

Yes, we all have a part to play in looking after the environment and Saint Kentigern is continually assessing sustainable business practices. With the installation of these further tanks on campus, each time we flush a loo at College, we can know we are all playing one small part to assist Auckland’s water crisis!


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