Title:
AQUIFER RESTORATION DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An aquifer restoration device (1) having a hollow collection pipe (2) of a predetermined length (21) having an open top end (12) and a bottom end (13) wherein the collection pipe top end (12) is located a predetermined distance above a ground surface (7) and the collection pipe bottom end (13) is located a predetermined distance below a ground surface (7), at least one filter (20) located on the collection pipe top end (12) and at least one discharge port (10) located on the collection pipe (2) below the ground surface (7). The collection pipe bottom end (13) is preferably located a predetermined distance above or within an aquifer (8) located beneath the ground surface (7). The collection pipe (2) is in fluid communication with a roof (5) of a structure (6) and is located either internally or externally to the structure (6) so as to collect rainwater (9) from the roof (5) and/or gutter(s) (4) secured to the structure (6), filter the rainwater (9) and inject the filtered rainwater (9) into the aquifer (8).



Inventors:
Hayes, Joseph E. (Naples, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/841098
Publication Date:
02/26/2009
Filing Date:
08/20/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
210/348
International Classes:
E04D13/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CANFIELD, ROBERT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LIVINGSTON LOEFFLER, P.A. (NAPLES, FL, US)
Claims:
Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. An aquifer restoration device for collecting rainwater from a roof of a structure and injecting said rainwater into an underground aquifer, said device comprising: a hollow collection pipe having an open top end in communication with said roof, said collection pipe having a bottom end; said collection pipe having a predetermined length; said collection pipe top end is located a predetermined distance above a ground surface and said collection pipe bottom end is located a predetermined distance below a ground surface; and at least one discharge port located on said collection pipe in a position so the rainwater is injected into the underground aquifer.

2. The aquifer restoration device of claim 1 further comprising: at least one filter located on said collection pipe top end.

3. The aquifer restoration device of claim 2 wherein: said at least one filter is a screen material.

4. The aquifer restoration device of claim 2 wherein: said at least one filter is a cloth material.

5. The aquifer restoration device of claim 2 further comprising: at least one filter located on said at least one discharge port.

6. The floating aquatic stair stepper of claim 5 wherein: said at least filter is a screen material.

7. The aquifer restoration device of claim 5 wherein: said at least one filter is a cloth material.

8. The aquifer restoration device of claim 1 wherein: said at least one discharge port is located on said collection pipe bottom end.

9. The aquifer restoration device of claim 8 further comprising: at least one filter located on said at least one discharge port.

10. The floating aquatic stair stepper of claim 9 wherein: said at least filter is a screen material.

11. The aquifer restoration device of claim 9 wherein: said at least one filter is a cloth material.

12. The aquifer restoration device of claim 1 further comprising: at least one securing means for securing said collection pipe to a structure.

13. The aquifer restoration device of claim 1 wherein: said collection pipe is located internal to said structure.

14. The aquifer restoration device of claim 1 wherein: said collection pipe is located external to said structure.

15. The aquifer restoration device of claim 1 wherein: said collection pipe is located in a structure corner of said structure.

16. An aquifer restoration device for collecting rainwater from a roof of a structure and injecting said rainwater into an underground aquifer, said device comprising: a hollow collection pipe having an open top end in communication with said roof; said collection pipe having a bottom end; said collection pipe having a predetermined length; said collection pipe top end is located a predetermined distance above a ground surface and said collection pipe bottom end is located a predetermined distance above a ground surface; at least one hollow transition pipe fluidly secured to said collection pipe bottom end; at least one discharge port located on said at least one transition pipe; at least one aquifer replenishment pipe having an open top end located beneath said at least one discharge port; said at least one aquifer replenishment pipe open top end is located a predetermined distance above a ground surface; said at least one aquifer replenishment pipe having a bottom end; said at least one aquifer replenishment pipe bottom end is located a predetermined distance below a ground surface; and at least one discharge port located on said at least one aquifer replenishment pipe in a position so the rainwater is injected into the underground aquifer.

17. The aquifer restoration device of claim 16 further comprising: at least one securing means for securing said collection pipe to a structure.

18. The aquifer restoration device of claim 16 further comprising: at least one filter located on said collection pipe top end.

19. The aquifer restoration device of claim 18 wherein: said at least one filter is a screen material.

20. The aquifer restoration device of claim 18 wherein: said at least one filter is a cloth material.

21. The aquifer restoration device of claim 16 further comprising: at least one filter located on said at least one transition pipe discharge port.

22. The aquifer restoration device of claim 21 wherein: said at least one filter located on said at least one transition pipe is a screen material.

23. The aquifer restoration device of claim 21 wherein: said at least one filter located on said at least one transition pipe is a cloth material.

24. The aquifer restoration device of claim 16 further comprising: at least one filter located on said at least one aquatic replenishment pipe top end.

25. The aquifer restoration device of claim 24 wherein: said at least one filter located on said at least one aquatic replenishment pipe top end is a screen material.

26. The aquifer restoration device of claim 24 wherein: said at least one filter located on said at least one aquatic replenishment pipe top end is a cloth material.

27. The aquifer restoration device of claim 16 further comprising: at least one filter located on said at least one aquatic replenishment pipe bottom end.

28. The aquifer restoration device of claim 27 wherein: said at least one filter located on said at least one aquatic replenishment pipe bottom end is a screen material.

29. The aquifer restoration device of claim 27 wherein: said at least one filter located on said at least one aquatic replenishment pipe bottom end is a cloth material.

30. The aquifer restoration device of claim 24 further comprising: at least one filter located on said at least one aquatic replenishment pipe bottom end.

31. The aquifer restoration device of claim 16 further comprising: at least one transition pipe discharge extension located between said at least one transition pipe and said at least one transition pipe discharge port.

32. An aquifer restoration device for collecting rainwater from a roof of a structure and injecting said rainwater into an underground aquifer, said device comprising: a hollow collection pipe having an open top end; said collection pipe having a bottom end; said collection pipe having a predetermined length; said collection pipe top end is located a predetermined distance above a ground surface and said collection pipe bottom end is located a predetermined distance below a ground surface; at least one filter located on said collection pipe top end; said at least one filter located on said collection pipe top end is a screen material; at least one discharge port located on said collection pipe in a position so the rainwater is injected into the underground aquifer; and at least one filter located on said at least one discharge port.

33. An aquifer restoration device for collecting rainwater from a roof of a structure and injecting said rainwater into an underground aquifer, said device comprising: a hollow collection pipe having an open top end; said collection pipe having a bottom end; said collection pipe having a predetermined length; said collection pipe top end is located a predetermined distance above a ground surface and said collection pipe bottom end is located a predetermined distance above a ground surface; at least one securing means for securing said collection pipe to a structure; at least one filter located on said collection pipe top end; said at least one filter located on said collection pipe top end is a screen material; at least one hollow transition pipe fluidly secured to said collection pipe bottom end; at least one discharge port located on said at least one transition pipe; at least one aquifer replenishment pipe having an open top end located beneath said at least one discharge port located on said at least one transition pipe; said at least one aquifer replenishment pipe open top end is located a predetermined distance above a ground surface; at least one filter located on said at least one aquifer replenishment pipe open top end; said at least one aquifer replenishment pipe having a bottom end; said at least one aquifer replenishment pipe bottom end is located a predetermined distance below a ground surface; at least one discharge port located on said at least one aquifer replenishment pipe bottom end in a position so the rainwater is injected into the underground aquifer; and at least one filter located on said at least one discharge port located on said at least one aquifer replenishment pipe bottom end.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to aquifer restoration devices, more particularly, an aquifer restoration device that enables one to collect rainwater run-off from the roofs of buildings and other structures and inject the rainwater directly into the underground aquifer.

The majority of coastal communities in the United States, especially in Florida, are under strict water use restrictions, despite intermittent years of heavy rainfall. In such coastal communities, saltwater intrusion has become a problem due to the lack of fresh water in the aquifer. Thus, there exists a great need to replenish the aquifer with fresh water.

During rainfall, ninety percent (90%) of the rainwater runs off of the roofs of structures, such as residential and business structures, into drainage wells, streams, rivers and ultimately into the ocean, with very little of the rainwater entering into the aquifer. Moreover, the rainwater that does enter the aquifer is usually polluted with various chemicals and debris, such as fertilizers and pesticides commonly used on landscaping and oil and petroleum from cars on the streets.

Although there currently exists methods of adding water back into the aquifer wherein forced injection of treated water is used, such reclaimed water can only be used for non-potable purposes.

Thus, a need exists for an aquifer restoration device and method that permits a user to collect rainwater from the roofs of buildings and other structures in an environmentally-friendly, efficient manner and inject the water into the aquifer may ultimately be used for potable purposes.

The relevant prior art includes the following references:

U.S. Pat. No.Issue/
(U.S. unless stated otherwise)InventorPublication Date
7,025,076Zimmerman, Jr. et al.Apr. 11, 2006
6,357,183SmithMar. 19, 2002
5,810,510UrriolaSep. 22, 1998
5,259,166Carey, II et al.Nov. 09, 1993
5,249,885FlorenceOct. 05, 1993
4,934,404DeStafanoJun. 19, 1990
4,627,495Harris et al.Dec. 09, 1986
3,750,886SalmAug. 07, 1973

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the present invention is to provide an aquifer restoration device and method that permits the injection of water directly into an aquifer wherein the water may ultimately be used for potable purposes.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an aquifer restoration device and method that is environmentally-friendly.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an aquifer restoration device and method that is easy to use.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide an aquifer restoration device that can be incorporated into a building structure.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide an aquifer restoration device that may be installed without causing invasive and traumatic destruction to existing landscaping and property as is typically caused when installing large underground tanks.

The present invention fulfills the above and other objects by providing an aquifer restoration device having a hollow collection pipe of a predetermined length having an open top end and a bottom end wherein the collection pipe top end is located a predetermined distance above a ground surface and the collection pipe bottom end is located a predetermined distance below a ground surface, at least one filter located on the collection pipe top end and at least one discharge port located on said collection pipe below the ground surface. The collection pipe bottom end is preferably located a predetermined distance above or within an aquifer located beneath the ground surface. The collection pipe can be separate and located adjacent to a roof of a structure or incorporated into a structure, either internal to the structure or external to the structure, so as to collect rainwater from the roof and/or gutter(s) secured to the structure, filter the rainwater and inject the filtered rainwater into the aquifer.

The aquifer restoration device may also include a transition pipe connected to the collection pipe wherein the collection pipe permits usage of a plurality of aquifer replenishment pipes to be used. Rather than having the collection pipe inserted into the ground surface, the aquifer replenishment pipes may be inserted into the ground surface wherein the top end of the aquifer replenishment device is located a predetermined distance above a ground surface and the bottom end of the aquifer replenishment device is located a predetermined distance above or within an aquifer located beneath a ground surface. Thus, the rainwater is deposited into the collection pipe and injected into the aquifer replenishment pipes via the transition pipe. The collection pipe, transition pipe and/or aquifer replenishment pipes may contain filters thereon to filter the rainwater runoff prior to injecting the rainwater into the aquifer.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention should become even more readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawings wherein there is shown and described illustrative embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following detailed description, reference will be made to the attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a side plan view of the aquifer restoration device having a side discharge port of the present invention in use;

FIG. 2 is a side plan view of the aquifer restoration device having a plurality of aquifer replenishment pipes of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side plan view of the aquifer restoration device having a bottom discharge port of the present invention in use;

FIG. 4 is a top view of a collection pipe of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a bottom view of a collection pipe of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a top view of a filter of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 is a bottom view of a transition pipe of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 2;

FIG. 8 is a top view of an aquifer replenishment pipe of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 2;

FIG. 9 is a bottom view of an aquifer replenishment pipe of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 2;

FIG. 10 is a top view of a collection pipe of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 3;

FIG. 11 is a bottom view of a collection pipe of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 3;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view along line 12-12 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 13 is a side plan view of an aquifer restoration device of the present invention wherein the aquifer restoration device includes a built-in roof structure;

FIG. 14 is a side plan view of an aquifer restoration device of the present invention wherein the aquifer restoration device is located internal to a structure; and

FIG. 15 is a side plan view of an aquifer restoration device of the present invention wherein the aquifer restoration device is built into a corner of a structure.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

For purposes of describing the preferred embodiment, the terminology used in reference to the numbered components in the drawings is as follows:

  • 1. aquifer restoration device, generally
  • 2. collection pipe
  • 3. screen material
  • 4. gutter
  • 5. roof
  • 6. structure
  • 7. ground surface
  • 8. aquifer
  • 9. rainwater
  • 10. discharge port
  • 11. collection pipe opening
  • 12. collection pipe top end
  • 13. collection pipe bottom end
  • 14. aquifer replenishment pipe
  • 15. transition pipe
  • 16. bracket
  • 17. transition pipe discharge extension
  • 18. column
  • 19. cloth material
  • 20. filter
  • 21. length
  • 22. securing means
  • 23. aquifer replenishment pipe top end
  • 24. aquifer replenishment pipe bottom end
  • 25. structure corner

With reference to FIG. 1, a side plan view of the aquifer restoration device having a side discharge port of the present invention in use. The aquifer restoration device, generally 1, includes a collection pipe 2 having a predetermined length 21 located adjacent to a roof 5 of a structure 6, which may be a house, apartment, condominium, office building, pavilion or any other structure or building wherein a roof 5 is used. In the alternative, if the structure 6 includes the use of at least one gutter 4, the aquifer restoration device 1 may be located adjacent to the gutter(s) 4. The collection pipe 2 is hollow and has a collection pipe top end 12 and an opposing collection pipe bottom end 13. The collection pipe 2 is positioned and secured into a ground surface 7 adjacent to the structure 6 wherein the collection pipe top end 12 is located a predetermined distance above the ground surface 7 and the collection pipe bottom end 13 is located a predetermined distance below the ground surface 7. At least one securing means 22, which may be brackets 16, clamps or other securing means, may be used to secure the collection pipe 2 to the structure 6, thereby providing additional securement and support of the collection pipe 2. Preferably, the collection pipe bottom end 13 is located a predetermined distance above or within an aquifer 8 located beneath the ground surface 7. Located on the collection pipe top end 12 is a collection pipe opening 11 to permit rainwater 9 to enter the collection pipe 2. A filter 20, which may be a screen material 3, is located across the collection pipe opening 11 so as to filter leaves, dirt and other debris from the rainwater 9 runoff from the roof 5 and/or gutter(s) 4 prior to injecting the rainwater 9 into the collection pipe 2. The filter 20 may extend a predetermined determined distance above the collection pipe 2 as shown in FIG. 1 or may be located withing the collection pipe 2 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The rainwater 9 travels through the hollow collection pipe 2 and ultimately is injected into the aquifer 8 via a discharge port 10 located on the collection pipe 2. The discharge port 2 may be located on a side of the collection pipe 2 near the collection pipe bottom end 13 as shown in FIG. 1 or on the collection pipe bottom end 13 as shown in FIG. 3.

In FIG. 2, a side plan view of the aquifer restoration device having a plurality of aquifer replenishment pipes of the present invention is shown. Similar to the aquifer restoration device 1 shown in FIG. 1, the aquifer restoration device 1 includes a collection pipe 2 having a collection pipe opening 11 wherein the collection pipe opening 11 is located adjacent to the roof 5 and/or gutter(s) of a structure 6 wherein the collection pipe top end 12 extends a predetermined distance above a ground surface 7. However, rather than the collection pipe bottom end 13 being located a predetermined distance below the ground surface 7, at least one transition pipe 15 is fluidly connected to the collection pipe bottom end 13 above the ground surface 7 to redirect the flow of the rainwater 9 into at least one aquifer replenishment pipe 14. The at least one transition pipe 14 has at least one discharge port 10 for the discharge of the redirected rainwater 9. An optional transition pipe discharge extension 17 may be located on the at least one transition pipe 14 around the discharge port 10 to assist in controlling the flow of the rainwater 9 into the aquifer replenishment pipes 14.

An aquifer replenishment pipe 14 is located beneath each discharge port 10 located on the transition pipe 15. Each aquifer replenishment pipe 14 has an open top end 23, preferably located a predetermined distance above a ground surface 7 but located beneath each transition pipe 15 discharge port 10, to collect rainwater 9 emptied from the transition pipe 15, and an opposing aquifer replenishment pipe bottom end 24 located beneath the ground surface 7 and a predetermined distance above or within an aquifer 8. At least one discharge port 10 is located on each aquifer replenishment pipe 14 to permit the rainwater 9 to exit the transition pipes 14 and enter the aquifer 8. Filters 20 may be located on the discharge ports 10 of the transition pipes 14, on the aquifer replacement pipe top ends 23 and/or on the aquifer replacement pipe bottom ends 24. The use of the aquifer replenishment pipes 14 are ideal for structures 6 large in size.

In FIG. 3, a side plan view of the aquifer restoration device having a bottom discharge port of the present invention in use is shown. Rather than the structure 6 being a house, condominium, apartment complex or commercial office structure wherein walls are used, FIG. 3 shows the structure 6 in the form of a pavilion, which are commonly found in parks, on playgrounds, on school property, etc., without the inclusion of at least one gutter. As shown, the roof 5 is supported by columns 18. However, so long as a roof 5 is used, the aquifer restoration device 1 of the present invention may be used. As shown, the hollow collection pipe 2 extends a predetermined distance above the ground surface 7 and a predetermined distance below the ground surface 7 wherein the collection pipe bottom end 13 includes a discharge port 10 located thereon.

Next, FIGS. 4 and 5 show varying views of a collection pipe of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 1. The collection pipe 2 may be of any size or shape, but is preferably round in cross-section. The filter 20 may be a screen material 3. The collection pipe bottom end 13 is shown as being solid as the discharge port 10 is located on the side of the collection pipe 2.

With reference to FIG. 6, a top view of a filter of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 2 is shown. The filter 20, which may be a screen material 3, may be internally located within the collection pipe 2, as opposed to being external to the collection pipe 2 as shown in FIG. 1. In addition, the collection pipe opening 11 may be square, round or any other shape and may be in a variety of sizes.

FIG. 7 shows a bottom view of a transition pipe of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 2. The transition pipe 15 preferably includes a plurality of discharge ports 10. A filter 20, which may be a screen material 3 preferably covers each discharge port 10 to further filter the rainwater 9 from debris. A transition pipe discharge extension 17 may be located between the transition pipe 15 and the discharge port 10 to assist in directing the flow of the rainwater 9 from the transition pipe 15 discharge port 10 into the aquifer replenishment pipe 14.

With respect to FIGS. 8 and 9, varying views of an aquifer replenishment pipe of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 2 are shown. The aquifer replenishment pipe top end 23 preferably includes a filter 20, which may be a screen material 3, to filter debris from the rainwater 9. The aquifer replenishment pipe bottom end 24 also preferably includes a filter 20; however, the filter 20 located on the aquifer replenishment pipe bottom end 24 may be a cloth material 19 to further remove finer debris from the rainwater 9.

FIGS. 10 and 11 show varying views of a collection pipe of the aquifer restoration device of FIG. 3. The collection pipe top end 12 preferably includes a filter 20, which may be a screen material 3, extending across the collection pipe opening 11 so as to filter debris from the rainwater 9. The collection pipe bottom end 13 may also include a filter 20, which may be a cloth material 19, extending across the discharge port 10 to further filter the rainwater 9.

FIG. 12 shows a cross-sectional view along line 12-12 of FIG. 1. regardless of the shape of the collection pipe 2, the collection pipe 2 used in the aquifer restoration device 1 is hollow so as to permit rainwater 9 to travel therethrough.

Next, with respect to FIG. 13, a side plan view of an aquifer restoration device of the present invention wherein the aquifer restoration device includes a built-in roof structure is shown. The aquifer restoration device 1 includes a collection pipe 2 that extends a predetermined distance below the ground surface 7 and terminates a predetermined distance above or within an underground aquifer 8. A filter 20 is preferably located within the collection pipe top end 12; however, the filter 20 may be located on or above the collection pipe opening 11. In FIG. 13, the aquifer restoration device 1 is shown having the capability to produce a predetermined amount of shade beneath and around the collection pipe 2 due to the collection pipe opening 11 being so large in scale that the collection pipe opening 11 actually forms a roof 5. The roof 5 preferably has the same shape as the collection pipe opening 11 shown in FIG. 10 wherein the roof 5/collection pipe opening 11 is slanted so as to route rainwater 9 into the collection pipe top end 12 and ultimately exit through the discharge port 10 for injection into the aquifer 8.

Next, FIG. 14 shows a side plan view of an aquifer restoration device of the present invention wherein the aquifer restoration device is located internal to a structure. The aquifer restoration device 1 may be internally located within a structure 6 and in fluid communication with the roof 5 of the structure 6. The roof 5 is preferably slanted, similar to the slanting of the collection pipe opening shown in FIG. 10, so as to direct rainwater 9 into the collection pipe opening 11, down the collection pipe 2 for ultimate injection into the underground aquifer 8. Because the aquifer restoration device 1 is located within the structure 6, the collection pipe 2 located within the structure 6 will give the appearance of a decorative column or support column; thus, many individuals will not recognize the collection pipe 2 to be an aquifer restoration device 1.

Finally, FIG. 15 shows a side plan view of an aquifer restoration device of the present invention wherein the aquifer restoration device is built into a corner of a structure. As shown, the aquifer restoration device 1 may be built into a structure corner 25 of a structure 6, either externally as shown or internally within the structure 6, wherein the aquifer restoration device 1 is in fluid communication with the roof 5 of the structure 6. In this manner, the aquifer restoration device 1 gives the appearance of decorative corner columns or decorative support columns on a structure 6.

Although the use of a screen material 3 or cloth material 19 for a filter 20 is shown in the drawings, the use of other materials may be used for filtering purposes. In addition, although polyvinylchloride (PVC) pipes are the preferred pipes to be used for the collection pipe 2, transition pipe 15 and aquifer replenishment pipes 14, pipes of any other material may be used.

Furthermore, any increase in length 21 of the collection pipe 2 used has a direct correlation with the increase of downward pressure to force the rainwater 9 into the aquifer 8.

Finally, the aquifer restoration device 1 of the present invention may be hidden by trees, shrubs, hedges and other landscaping.

The use of the present invention will enable one to collect rainwater run-off from the roofs of buildings and other structures and inject the rainwater directly into an underground aquifer.

It is to be understood that while a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention and the invention is not be considered limited to what is shown and described in the specification and drawings.