Local Bank Finds New Way To Save Water


FirstBank Southwest has a new way to save water.  

"We did this because it's the right thing to do," Smith Ellis, President and CEO of FirstBank Southwest said, of the bank's recent conservation project. 

The design for the FirstBank Southwest building at 45th and Teckla includes xeriscaping and a rainwater collection system.

As of the building's one-year anniversary in June, the system had collected 90,000 gallons of water that would have otherwise gone to the gutter.

"We have a tank that's buried about six, seven feet under the ground. It will hold about 12,000 gallons worth of water.  And then any overflow out of the tank after that is full, it actually fills up in the paver stones. So total we can capture about 26,000 gallons of water at any given time," Ellis said. 

In addition to the rainwater capturing, the building's unique landscaping and irrigation uses 60 percent less water than a traditional grass lawn. Ellis says conservation is a cause he feels strongly about.

"Obviously it added to the cost of the building, to the construction. But we thought with the Texas Panhandle and the water problems that we will have today and continue to have in the future, it was a good project for us to take on," Ellis said. 

And it's a project Ellis says they may consider again in future construction.

The 90,000 gallons of water collected came after a year of just more than 10 inches of rain at the bank location.

That means, during a year of average rainfall at more than 19 inches, the system could potentially capture around 180,000 gallons of water to be conserved. 

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