Rainwater Harvest For Habitat Townhomes


Cisterns will collect rainwater to provide trees and plants with water at the Habitat for Humanity townhomes.

Rainwater cisterns are an original element in the conceptual design for the Longhorn Village townhomes Payson area Habitat for Humanity is building for local families.

Each of the 14 units will have two 200-gallon cisterns, one at the northeast corner and the other at the southeast corner of the unit, for a total of 28 cisterns.

"I am personally committed to the idea that every home and business in the Rim Country should have cisterns to collect rainwater," Robert Hershberger, the projects architect said.

Hershberger uses water from his home's 6,200-gallon cisterns to water his vegetables, flowers and fruit trees.

"These cisterns more than fill twice each year, once in the winter and again during the summer monsoons," he said.

Payson's mountain climate is arid, so in June and November when native trees are showing signs of stress from the prolonged lack of moisture, Hershberger gives them whatever water remains in his cisterns.

At Longhorn Village, water from the front cisterns will be used to water the drought-resistant plants used to landscape the townhomes.

The cisterns inside the rear walls of each home could be used to water vegetable gardens.

The cisterns will blend with the colors of the homes.

"They are intended to make a statement that storing water above ground is important and can be an attractive addition to the architecture of the homes," Hershberger said.

Longhorn Village is currently in the infrastructure phase, which should continue through the end of October.

People who drive by the Longhorn and McLane site may see trenching for water, sewer and electric lines happening.

After a small delay with paperwork through the state, Longhorn Village is "close" to being on-schedule for its late spring, or early summer 2008 completion of the four units in Phase I, Christine Royer, PAHH executive director said.

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