The Thacher School is a private coeducational college preparatory boarding high school (grades 9-12) located 85 miles northwest of Los Angeles, California. As a part of Thacher School’s greater commitment to sustainability, SWP has been working with students and staff to design and implement a comprehensive water management plan that integrates Best Management Practices such as rainwater harvesting, greywater reuse and low water use landscaping to achieve the objectives of the Thacher School Water Management Plan. Overall, this project will create a lasting model for students, regional fisheries professionals and local communities on how to manage watersheds in the face of increasing climate uncertainty.

Objectives of Water Management Plan are:

  • Increase stewardship and leadership opportunities for Thacher School community
  • Increase independence of water resources for Thacher School 
  • Reduce water consumption and expenditures from offsite sources 
  • Reduce water consumption from ecologically sensitive sources, such as Thacher Creek 
  • Decrease nutrient loading in San Antonio watershed 
  • Decreasing runoff velocity and volumes during storm events 
  • Recharging groundwater base flows for landscape availability and ecological benefits
 

Rain tank installed for horse water

Rain tank installed for horse water

Thacher Creek Equestrian Instream Flow and Water Quality Project 

The Thacher Creek Equestrian Instream Flow and Water Quality Project will aid in restoring degraded Steelhead habitat by increasing instream and base flows during dry months, decreasing nutrient loading during storm events while reducing discharge of sediment and high scouring events within the Ventura River Watershed. The project will achieve this by employing Low Impact Development (LID) techniques to slow, reuse and infiltrate problematic stormwater. Approximately 580,600 to 837,055 gallons of rainwater will be captured annually (dependent on precipitation) creating an alternative supply of water to fufill 100% of water needs for the equestrian center, including drinking and washing. 

Project Highlights

  • 580,600 to 837,055 gallons harvested annually (drought to average) 
  • 100% of annual watering and washing for 121 horses at the Equestrian Unit
  • Conserved water will not be diverted from Thacher Creek from April to October, adding to crucial instream base flows

Laundry to Landscape greywater system being installed

Laundry to Landscape greywater system being installed

Dormitory Greywater Reuse Project 

On completion, the greywater project will be generate 2.55 million gallons of shower and laundry water annually from seven dormitories to be reused for landscape irrigation on campus. Laundry to landscape will be installed first with shower greywater to be installed and permitted in second phase.  

Project Highlights:

  • 55% of laundry to landscape is complete and generating 1.4 million gallons per year
  • Completed system expected to generate 2.55 million gallons per year

 


Dormitory Rainwater Reuse Project 

The Dormitory Rainwater Reuse Project will reuse an estimated 920,000 gallons of rainwater annually to be reused onsite in dormitory toilets. This water will be sufficient to cover 100% of all dormitory toilet flushing with extra water infiltrated into the landscape through bioswales and vegetated infiltration basins. Capturing and using water onsite reduces nuisance, high nutrient stormwater flows into the watershed while increasing groundwater recharge and summer base flows.  

Project Highlights:

  • Storage capacity: 575,000 g/y
  • Reuse: 935,228 g/y
  • 100% of toilet flushing water 
  • Tanks placed for reduced energy consumption and gravity fed systems when possible