Water Conservation Grant Report
Freeway Estates Community Orchard
September 2018 – Sue Hartman and Ruth Callard

Table of Contents

Treadle Pump
Elevated Rain Barrels
Laying Poly Line and Valves
Gravity-Fed Drip Irrigation Systems
Olla Trials
Perforated Pipe
New Cistern and Water Catchment Roof
Compost-Drying Rack
Water-Measuring Tools and Water Saving Ideas
Conclusions and Recommendations


In December 2017, Freeway Estates Community Orchard won a $10,500 Department of Neighborhoods Matching Grant from the City of Seattle to install water conservation infrastructure. Our goal was not only to conserve water but also to reduce the time and physical effort that watering required. We felt a wider range of people could help with watering if we could find alternatives to hauling water in 5-gallon buckets. We also wanted to make it easy for visitors to learn about the components of our watering system so we created onsite signage.

Over 36 people were involved directly with the water conservation project including 16 children and 5 supervisors from Kids Co. Summer Day Camp at MacDonald International School.

We got off to a good start in the fall of 2017 with a donated 1,000-gallon cistern. This gift allowed us to increase our total water storage capacity to 4,000 gallons.

The drip irrigation portion of the project included finding the right pump, installing elevated water barrels, installing poly pipe and valves from the cisterns to the barrels and then installing the various drip irrigation systems.

The installation of ollas, perforated pipe, a third cistern with an adjacent roof for water catchment, the exploration of methods of testing for water needs of various plants, and then signage, were separate components of the water conservation project.

We began in December 2017 with research and planning. On June 14, 2018 the third and last drip system was installed and we continued to work through September 2018 on fine tuning, purchasing spare parts for retrofitting and small enhancements. The following is a record of our implementation process and results.

Treadle Pump →