Pitchers and catchers don’t report for spring training until February 18 but the Minnesota Twins are already getting a jump on the 2010 baseball season by installing a huge new rainwater harvesting and recycling system at the team’s new home, Target Field.
The new Rain Water Recycle System was designed by by Minneapolis-based Pentair, a global water innovator. Using a gigantic underground water storage tank the size of a freight car, the team aims to save more than two million gallons of water yearly – and that’s all part of a bigger sustainable plan for Target Field.
The Minnesota Twins and Sustainable Baseball
Sure, the Twins are aiming for a pennant this year, but they’re also racing to get LEED (Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design) certification for their spanking new baseball stadium. The new park, which broke ground in 2007, went through a $2.5 million redesign to earn LEED points for water and energy use, and for other building elements. The park started out with points in its pocket because of its location by mass transit, and it also got points for rehabbing an existing site and using local building materials.
Rainwater Harvesting and Recycling
Rainwater harvesting is catching on for individual home use, mainly as a way to keep the yard green without having to use tap water. The Twins are stepping up the game by using Pentair’s technology to purify rainwater, so it can be used for human consumption as well as maintenance and field irrigation. Filtration systems are also being installed in suites, team areas and offices to encourage the use of tap water instead of disposable plastic bottles. The team also plans to promote the new system with Minneapolis-based green sports licensing company GreenMark to raise fan awareness, dubbing Pentair the “Official Sustainable Water Provider” for the Twins.
Rainwater Harvesting and the Big Picture
Getting large facilities like Target Field off the conventional water supply grid is one strategy for a sustainable future. The off-grid trend also applies to energy; for example, municipal like sewage treatment plants are starting to install solar panels to run giant pumps and other equipment. On the other hand, the water harvesting solution may be problematic in arid regions, especially parts of the western U.S. where longtime water rights issues currently impose legal restrictions on rainwater harvesting.
Image: Rainwater by taiyofj on flickr.com.
Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.