Pollen season is just around the corner for us here in Washington State. With the warmer than normal temperatures, we will most likely see an early and long pollen season.
Pollen is a nemesis of rainwater collection and needs to be controlled. Without control, pollen can easily foul our stored water.
As pollen accumulates in cisterns in the spring and summer months, it starts to decay and along with that decay – odor is the result. Simple techniques should be applied in order to keep our stored water “sweet”.
Gutter screens should be cleaned often, as pollen accumulates on the screens themselves with the rain washing the pollen into the gutters and into the cisterns.
Vortex filters screen should be periodically inspected and cleaned as needed. If you do not have a vortex filter, I highly recommend having one installed.
If you use screen baskets in a sump box or the cistern itself, a layer of cheesecloth will catch the pollen before it enters the tank. The cheesecloth should be inspected frequently and replaced as needed.
Keep your stored water clean and odor free with a little extra maintenance during this pollen season. You will be glad you did.
A false color electron microscope scan of pollen. Credit: Dartmouth College/Charles Daghlian
If you are an interested individual or a professional seeking educational development courses and workshops on rainwater harvesting for residential, commercial, potable or non-potable systems, you should visit ARCSA’s website to sign up for a course or webinar. For more information about ARCSA’s professional development programs and workshops, click here.
Rainwater Systems is the Northwest Regional representative for the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA).
ARCSA’s mission is to promote sustainable rainwater harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world. which, of course, aligns with RainBank’s core values. We hope you’ll visit ARCSA and consider becoming a member. You can sign up for ARCSA’s newsletter here.
Rainwater collection is growing in popularity in the United States, including here in the Seattle area. Many commercial and residential new construction projects are discovering that rainwater collection can save costs on complying with the mandated GSI (green storm water infrastructure) of infiltration on site while saving water use and energy at the same time.
Treating water for potable standards is not energy efficient for municipal water districts. Even though water is cheap for the consumer, it does require high costs to maintain this level of quality to potable standards. The reason the costs are low to the consumer is because of the large amounts of water being sold to manufacturing and farming. On a large scale, reducing the energy needed by using untreated water for toilet flushing and laundry facilities could reduce the costs of water from these water districts. Imagine the reduction of energy saved if all commercial new construction implemented RWC for this use only.
Based on this chart from the American Water Works Association (AWWA) toilets make up 28% of residential water consumption without conservation and laundry 21%. The use of high efficiency toilets, washing machines and low flow devices will reduce the amounts even more. A simple rainwater collection system for toilet and laundry will reduce household demand of municipal water by 49%. Imagine the savings on a larger scale for energy, storm water runoff, depletion of our aquifers, and demands on a centralized water system.
Every drop of water is important and we can make smart choices about where every drop goes.