UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into cistern for rainwater storage and sterilization for the new UBC Student Union Building Salahuddin, Mohammad; Jeyagapal, Murrali Raj; Al-Tameemi, Murtadha; Mogan, Vinod


The design of new Student Union Building at UBC is implementing a rainwater harvesting system which includes several major components like collection, filtration, disinfection, storage and distribution. This report looks into the storage system of the rainwater harvesting system in addition to the disinfection approaches applicable to the tank. Moreover, the design of the system needs to cater to the LEED platinum+ Certificate requirements. Underground cistern is made to store water in a tank which can utilize different materials for construction. Materials like galvanized steel, poured concrete and polyplastic have been studied to make a tank of around 22m3. Triple bottom analysis was carried out which reflected that concrete is the cheapest option at $250/m3 and with the least environmental impacts and social implications. Furthermore, chlorination and UV disinfection were chosen to be investigated for possible application to the proposed cistern. Chlorination proved to have low operating cost of only $38/yr but with high initial cost of $1186. For UV disinfection, the capital cost is $600 whereas operating and maintenance costs are close to $70/year. Despite the higher operating cost, UV disinfection is recommended since it has no environmental impacts when used in a tank and no social affects. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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