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South Plains EC News

Saving for a Rainy Day

A local co-op member finds an alternative source for water

Water is one of the most precious resources we have, and when you run out of it, it affects your way of life. Samuel Jackson, Inc., is a local Co-op member and has been in business for 91 years, beginning in 1928 with current CEO Chris Jackson’s grandfather. While their business focuses on developing and testing cotton gin equipment, the need for having a reliable source of water is vital to their operations. 

In 2014, Samuel Jackson began experiencing problems with not having enough water to sustain their business. They were using water from wells that never quite recovered from the drought in 2011. After looking into different options for a pure water source, the most cost-effective suggestion was first introduced by an employee who jokingly said, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we took the water coming off the roof during a rain and used it in our plant?”

Samuel Jackson Inc.

Chris Jackson thought this employee was on to something, and that is when the research into rain harvesting began. It was soon decided that the best and most effective option was to install a rain harvesting system for Samuel Jackson to use in their day-to-day operations. Samuel Jackson took guidance and advice from Richard Heineken of Dripping Springs, Texas, who owned Tank Town Texas and sold equipment for rain harvesting and had abundant knowledge in the process. In September 2015, Samuel Jackson made the transition to begin capturing rainwater and hasn’t looked back since.

Rainwater is used for all of Samuel Jackson’s manufacturing, testing, fire protection and domestic water needs. There are two water wells on location that are only used for landscaping and agricultural purposes. “We didn’t set out to do that, but once we realized it was possible, we went for it,” Jackson said. Samuel Jackson collects rain from 48,000 square feet of their total roof area. To put it into perspective, a one-inch rain provides 26,400 gallons of water, and just one minute of heavy rain is enough to supply Samuel Jackson’s operations for 25 days. Water is stored in six, 15,000-gallon fiberglass tanks. When they are full, Samuel Jackson can operate for 300 days with no additional rainfall.

South Plains Electric Cooperative

“You’ll never look at a rain storm the same way. You are looking at a preservation of a God-given resource in a very tangible way.” -Chris Jackson, CEO

Technology plays a role in the process by keeping track of rainwater storage, short- and long-term usage, and projected length of time that the current water supply will last. Automatic text message alerts help minimize water waste. Filtration and treatment of the water supply is also technologically advanced. Rain harvesting is a process that Chris Jackson does not see going away for the future of Samuel Jackson, Inc. More information about Samuel Jackson’s rain harvesting project, including a music video called “Bone Dry Day,” can be found on their website at