Church Looks to the Sky for Help With Water Needs

In Nazareth, Texas there's only one church and to say it is the biggest user of city water is an understatement.

"Every summer we use two full water towers of the Nazareth water and we're the we're the major user of that water," said Father Ken Keller of Holy Family Catholic Church in Nazareth.

A recently constructed house in Nazareth uses it's roof to funnel all the rainwater into underground tanks and then uses the water for irrigation.

" Think about how much water can be harvested off of school roofs. 60% of water we use goes to landscaping," said Darryl Birkenfeld, a rainwater harvester and educator.

Birkenfeld took his idea to church one day and now the biggest user of city water is planning to drastically cut it's water needs.

"Right now we're in the study phase of a project for rain water harvesting. The church is the major user of water here in Nazareth. We especially love to take care of our gardens and our cemetery. Love to keep it green but that takes a lot of water," Father Keller said.

A study done by students at Texas Tech found the church could yield hundreds of thousands of gallons if it collected rain from both the parking lot and the roof.

But there's more to this project than a slight economic benefit.

"Not only some economical benefit but the number one the ethical benefit of saying we care so much about the earth and water and resources that we're going to take good care of it," Father Keller said.

"Rainwater's clean that's why people that's why people used to wash their hair with it and things like that,"Birkenfeld said.

According to the estimates by Texas Tech, in an average year the church has the potential to harvest 750 thousand gallons of usable water.

More than enough to keep the cemetery looking green and beautiful.