Hunt Independent School District
- Category: Education/Government
- Sponsor: Hunt Garden Club
- Project Lead: Bernadell Larson Thompson
- System Location: 115 School Lane SW, Hunt, TX 78024
- Capacity: 20,000 gallons
- Water Use: Non-potable: irrigation, Discovery Garden and athletic field
Background and System:
What began as an idea for a rainwater harvesting demonstration project at the Hunt School grew into a full-scale, 20,000-gallon system that provides water to the Discovery Garden and the planned expansion of the athletic practice field. Prior to the project, water was obtained from a groundwater well, purchased from a third party.
For years, the Hunt Garden Club worked with Hunt School fourth- and fifth-graders in the Discovery Garden, establishing a curriculum, studying ecosystems, learning the value of gardening, and providing a community garden in the summer. The rainwater harvesting project was a natural extension of that effort.
With guidance from community members, the class planned and designed the system which uses the gymnasium roof as the catchment surface. From the roof, rainwater travels through an underground pipe to a 20,000-gallon storage tank located near the garden. The entire system is gravity-fed.
One of the unique aspects of the project is its incorporation into the school curriculum, with 5th grade teacher Kate Caraway, science teacher Ken Davis, and community members working on the lessons. This is not the first school or school district to do a rainwater harvesting project; the real story is that it was driven by the students. When presented with the task of finding a water supply for the garden, they discussed several alternatives and came up with the idea of a rainwater harvesting system.
Although community members taught the children about rainwater harvesting, the students themselves measured the site; determined how much rainwater could be harvested; developed a plan; discussed parts and materials; estimated costs for the system; and were involved in the funding and bidding process.
The system was designed and installed at a total cost of approximately $13,000. However, there was no cost to the school. Funding came from the Hunt Garden Club, corporations, a foundation grant, and many individual donations. The project also received in-kind donations from local companies.
The project is all about education. One of its unique aspects is that it was incorporated into the curriculum, with 5th grade teacher Kate Caraway, science teacher Ken Davis, and community members working on the lessons.