Hawthorne Hostel Rainwater Demonstration Project
In 2008, the Hawthorne Hostel received substantial funding from the Bureau of Environmental Services (City of Portland) to build a rainwater harvesting system. This system would add-on and capitalize on its already highly visible EcoRoof (that was funded by the BES in 2001 and built by EcoRoofs Everywhere www.ecoroofseverywhere.com).
The Portland Hawthorne Hostel Rainwater demonstration project would compose of several components:
2- two large 4,000 gallons above/below ground cisterns that will collect up to 80% (43,000 gallons annually) of the runoff rainwater collected from the hostels roof and ecoroof and downspouts
3- two “living walls” with hanging succulent plants to absorb rainwater
4- a large bioswale rain garden that will collect any unused leftover rain runoff
5- filtration and plumbing from the cisterns that sends water into the hostel to be used by the hostel for 5 toilets
6- an irrigation system plumbed to the system to water native plants and gardens
7- demonstration sign that indicates when the system is active and total gallons of water saved by the system
8- A beautiful side porch and stage seating rebuilt with trex composite wood (made of recycled wood and materials that have a 20 year guarantee not to splinter, warp, or need painting)
The overall goal of the project was to be a public display to Portlanders and hostel visitors from around the world. It demonstrates methods that you can manage stormwater onsite and decrease the overall burden to the city’s stormwater system. Historically, Portland has an antiquated combined stormwater/sewer system that can pollute the Willamette River. In heavy rains, the stormwater system will overflow into the sewer system and can eventually feed into the Willamette River. The city has been aggressively addressing this problem by: encouraging residents to disconnect their downspouts and build bioswales to mange rainwater onsite and out of the river, building Green Streets, and the Big Pipe Project. http://www.portlandonline.com/cso/
The project was included in the city’s “Tabor to the River” project http://www.portlandonline.com/bes/index.cfm?c=47591(which includes Greenstreets and raingardens), focused on the SE quadrant of Portland from Mt. Tabor to the Willamette.
The ethos of the project was captured by a mural that was funded by the BES in 2009 on the inside of one of the cisterns.