Rainwater harvesting program set for Copperas Cove

COPPERAS COVE – The Rainwater Harvesting for Homeowners workshop will be hosted as a joint effort among the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership, Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. March 10.

The workshop will be held at the Copperas Cove Public Library, located at 501 S. Main St., Copperas Cove.

“Rainwater harvesting is an innovative and efficient means of utilizing water,” said Lisa Prcin, AgriLife Research watershed coordinator for the Lampasas River Watershed. “This process collects rainwater, stores it and uses it when needed. It is extremely useful as it lessens the demand on existing water supplies and saves it for when it is needed. It also reduces flooding, erosion and contamination of surface water.”

The workshop is free, however participants will have the opportunity to build their own rain barrel to take home for a $50 charge, Prcin said. Light refreshments will be served.

Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful is sponsoring $25 of the cost for the barrels, of which only 25 will be available.

To secure a barrel, participants are urged to contact Prcin at 254-774-6008 or lprcin@brc.tamu.edu.

“Participants will learn about the benefits of rainwater harvesting and how to build an effective system,” said Dotty Woodson, AgriLife Extension water resources specialist, Dallas, who will be teaching the workshop.

Silvia Rhoads, Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful executive director, said, “We are excited to offer this program for the first time in our community. We hope to fill all 25 barrels available and believe in the benefits rainwater harvesting provides.”

“Not only does rainwater harvesting help provide an additional source of water, it also helps mitigate contamination of surface water due to stormwater runoff by allowing the rainwater to be filtered more than it typically would if it just drained directly into the local waterways,” Prcin said. “Rainwater harvesting was identified by the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership as a way for homeowners to help improve water quality in the Lampasas River watershed. This workshop is part of the outreach and education strategy of the Lampasas River Watershed Protection Plan.”

The Lampasas River was identified for watershed protection plan development due to concerns about elevated levels of bacteria, as reported in the 2002 Texas Water Quality Inventory, published by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The Lampasas River watershed includes parts of Mills, Hamilton, Lampasas, Coryell, Burnet, Bell and Williamson counties.

The Lampasas River Watershed Partnership, facilitated by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Temple and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, consists of area residents and other stakeholders from across the watershed.

“The partnership has worked diligently to develop a watershed protection plan to address water quality concerns within the watershed by evaluating water quality issues and making recommendations for voluntary pollutant load reductions and management measures,” Prcin said.

More information about the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership and this program can be found at http://www.lampasasriver.org.

The facilitation of the Lampasas River Watershed Partnership and development of the watershed protection plan is funded by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board through a Clean Water Act grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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