Carter Park will be the first Harris County facility to receive a net zero facility.
Construction is now underway on Harris County's first self-sustaining facility at Carter Park in Precinct 4.
The 470-square foot restroom will rely on solar panels and a rain harvesting system to provide electricity and water. Both systems will be monitored remotely by digital controls for quality.
"The net-zero facility is an environmentally sustainable restroom that has features like solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and on-site wastewater treatment through natural filtration," said County Engineer John Blount. "A project like this leads to long-term cost savings on electricity and water."
Benefits of the design include alleviating the need to connect to existing water and sewage piping and the electrical grid. To receive the net-zero energy designation, the facility must generate enough renewable energy on-site to meet its electrical needs.
"Usually, restrooms require large investments in infrastructure and maintenance that would not be feasible in remote parks and along trails," said Commissioner R. Jack Cagle. "We're happy that we now have a cost-effective way to provide access to working restrooms, especially as we continue to expand activities along the greenway with our Parks As Trails division."
Designed in 2015 by Harris County Engineering Department interns, the project should be complete by late summer 2016. The facility will be the first of many net-zero facilities built for remote areas of the precinct.
Located along the Spring Creek Greenway, Carter Park is a 115-acre facility with a 12-lane archery shooting range; bicycling, equestrian and nature trails; a pavilion; picnic tables; a canoe launch; and creek fishing. For more information, please call the Parks Reservation Office at 281-353-4196.