Storm chambers are quickly catching on as a way to manage stormwater runoff. They consist of underground, open bottom chambers that collect rainwater as it flows from your roof’s gutter system, consolidating it into one or more chambers and allowing it to slowly reenter the natural groundwater system. Storm chambers can also be designed to collect and filter stormwater for reuse within the home (for toilets, showers, laundry, etc.), similar to a greywater system.
Storm chambers are especially useful for large buildings in urban environments as more and more area is paved over and rainwater increasingly taxes city sewer systems. In residential and commercial applications, storm chambers can be placed beneath paved areas to conserve space, although they are certainly feasible beneath a grassy yard. Chambers are made of heavy duty, high density polyethylene or other form of plastic.
In addition to channeling storm and greywater, storm chambers also mimic natural filtration processes by creating a situation in which a layer of microorganisms forms that actually cleans the water and converts potentially toxic substances within the water into harmless, non-contaminating byproducts. They are relatively easy, quick, and inexpensive to install and they replenish the groundwater supply.
Finding detailed information on storm chambers is a bit difficult as of now, but expect to hear a lot more about them as they continue to emerge as a low-cost, low-impact green technology to be used at home and throughout our ever-changing, increasingly urban landscape.
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