Seaholm Power Development, LLC
- Category: Commercial
- Organization Location: Austin, Texas
- Activity: Up to 325,000 gallons of harvested rainwater are stored in the repurposed power plant cooling infrastructure.
The transformation of the iconic Seaholm Power Plant into a mixed-use development included a unique integration of historic infrastructure with contemporary technologies and systems. This large-scale effort employed innovative measures to conserve water by repurposing the facility’s existing infrastructure and developing a huge rainwater harvesting system that greatly reduces potable water needs through adaptive reuse.
Rainwater is collected from the roof tops and plaza of the development, as well as the surrounding streets, and is stored in the former intake pipes and weirs of the power plant cooling system. When the system fills to capacity after a large rain event, water drains into an irrigation system for adjacent parkland, emptying the system for the next rain event. By repurposing existing large volume infrastructure, system costs were held to a minimum and irrigation water for the intensely landscaped urban site is now being provided at a much reduced cost. The 325,000 gallon system also improves water quality by capturing stormwater before it enters Lady Bird Lake. Custom manhole covers for the weir caps and interpretive signage serve to educate the public on the otherwise largely invisible, truly unique system.