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Tryon Palace And N.C. State University Partner To Build Rainwater Harvesting System

System adds to Tryon Palace’s New Environmental Sustainability Program
New Bern, NC – Tryon Palace and the North Carolina State University Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering are partnering to implement a rainwater harvesting system at Tryon Palace. The team, led by Extension Associate Kathy DeBusk, is installing a system designed to collect rainwater and funnel it into five cisterns, or tanks, with a capacity of roughly 3,000 gallons.

The “rain garden” will allow Tryon Palace to “harvest” rainwater from the rear roof of the Tryon Palace Way Station, located at the corner of George and Pollock Streets. The collected rainwater will be recycled and used for watering the Carraway and Stoney Gardens. Overflow water will then be piped to a newly-created rain garden to the rear of the Stoney Garden.

With this project, Tryon Palace is continuing its commitment to green design. In 2010, Tryon Palace celebrated the opening of the North Carolina History, a 60,000-square-foot building on a six-acre site on the Trent River adjacent to the Palace (west side) and downtown New Bern (east side). The North Carolina History Center is planned for LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) certification at the gold or silver level. The site is a former industrial or Brownfield site. It was classified as a Superfund property and a major contaminant of the Neuse River basin. Administration of remediation was handled under the North Carolina Superfund, part of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The History Center is a green-designed project including the construction of wetlands that filter storm-water run-off from a 50-acre area of the New Bern Historic District. The run-off is captured in a large underground cistern that recycles the water for irrigation and replenishment of the wetlands. The parking area also has a permeable surface allowing for absorption of run-off. In addition, the building is constructed of recycled materials and a commissioning agent has insured the operational efficiency of all mechanical and electrical equipment.

Submitted by: Trish Ashburn, Marketing and Communications Manager for Tryon Palace