LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A massive mixed-use development slated to open at USC later this year will feature not only sleek new buildings above-ground, but a vast underground rainwater capture system.

The 15-acre development will feature six underground wells that will swell with rainwater during storms. Once completed, the system will be the largest privately owned stormwater containment and filtration system in the city.

The system will feature six tanks that reach 60 feet into the ground and are capable of handling 200,000 gallons of rainwater during a given storm.

The stormwater enters the tanks through green tubes. A filtration system sifts out trash and other undesirable material such as oil before allowing the water to sift into aquifers below.

The idea is to recapture stormwater rather than allowing it to flow into the Los Angeles River, and eventually out to sea.

Engineering graduate student Vishnu Ratnam said he’s eager to see the system in action.

“It’s a good example to look at how you can put what you’ve learned to good use,” he said. “Especially in helping to improve the environment.”


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