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Got water? Mundo Verde does!

Process—————14 November 2014

The picture above shows Forrester Construction lifting a submarine-sized cistern into place at the Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School. The 25,000 gallon cistern will provide the water to operate the school’s gray water system. Mundo Verde will use the water to flush toilets and irrigate their gardens and green space. This approach to wastewater management should save over 300,000 gallons of potable water annually, reduce the demand on the municipal water treatment system, and lower Mundo Verde’s water bill.

The cistern stores naturally occurring water from both rainwater and groundwater collectors. rainwater is channeled from large surfaces such as rooftops and impervious paved areas. Groundwater filters in through foundation tiles and other subsurface collectors. The collected water passes through sand filtration before entering the cistern itself. The grey water system draws on his reservoir as needed for flushing and irrigation.

The cistern is located below ground between Mundo Verde’s renovated 1924 building, and a new annex building, currently under construction. A constructed stream bed and rain garden on the surface above tells the story of the water captured and recycled below. The stream includes a basin fitted with a child-sized hand pump to draw water from the cistern source.

Mundo Verde is growing an onsite garden that will support a “garden to lunch table” nutrition program. The site will also provide “education landscapes” to support the school’s expeditionary learning program. Indigenous landscaping is designed not only to provide edibles for the students, but also support the regional urban fauna and global wildlife and insect migratory patterns. The students will study these patterns to learn about the natural world beyond the bounds of their P Street NW campus. 

The cistern is just one way that Mundo Verde – Spanish for “Green World” – integrates sustainability into its educational philosophy and the daily lives of its students.

Mundo Verde

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