Through a pass through mini-grants program sponsored by Hanson Material Service, Midwest Generation and ComEd, Lewis University has received a $65,000 grant for a rainwater collection system. The collection system gathers water and stores it in a 200,000 gallon tank previously used for water storage prior to campus water being provided by the Romeoville municipal water system. The project is expected to be completed by December 2012 and to be placed in operation in the spring 2013.
The collected rainwater will be used for campus irrigation or cooling towers. The new rainwater collection system will preserve natural water systems since it will reduce Lewis’ use of a well for irrigation purposes. The system will also reduce the use of salt for softening water used for the cooling towers since the collected rainwater doesn’t need to be softened.
The project is expected to reduce dependence on the aquifer and preserve it for the natural habitat in the Romeoville area. The aquifer serves the nearby Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve, which is one of the few remaining habitats for the endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly and other rare plant and insect species.
Hanson Material Service, Midwest Generation and ComEd have been working in partnership and with state and federal agencies to develop a conservation plan for the endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly. The partners initiated the grant program, with funds received from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, to support additional projects that further the preservation of the endangered species and its habitat. The Hine’s emerald dragonfly is highly dependent upon groundwater, so Lewis University’s efforts with this project are instrumental to protecting its habitat.
Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.
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