Benefits of Rainwater Collection

drops-plant-leaves-43481_1280Significant, economic, social, and environmental benefits can be achieved by collecting, storing, and using rainwater. According to the Texas A&M AgriLlife Extension and the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA), rainwater harvesting benefits individuals and communities in many ways:

CONSERVES WATER: Rainwater harvesting provides an alternative water source to well water and public water supplies. About 50 to 70 % of all household water is used for landscape irrigation and other outdoor activities.

CONSERVES ENERGY: Because rainwater harvesting bypasses the centralized water system, it conserves energy. Many household systems require only a small pump to create water pressure in the pipes, and many non potable systems operate by gravity.

PREVENTS FLOODING AND EROSION: Part of the local rainfall is diverted into collection tanks or passive harvesting methods, leaving less storm water to manage. Stormwater problems are turned into water supply assets by slowing runoff and allowing it to soak into the ground.

DECREASES WATER CONTAMINATION: Captured rainwater does not cause immediate runoff. Limiting runoff helps decrease the contamination of surface water by sediments, fertilizers, and pesticides in rainfall runoff.

REDUCES PERSONAL WATER BILLS: Rainwater can be used in landscaping, for toilets, and for washing laundry. With more filtration and treatment, it can be used for cooking and drinking as well.

SUPPLIES NUTRIENTS TO PLANTS: Rainwater often contains nitrogen which provides a slight fertilizing effect for plants.

PROVIDES NATURALLY SOFT WATER: The use of rainwater can significantly reduce the amounts of detergents and soaps needed. It also prevents soap scum, hardness deposits, and the need for water softeners.

Rainwater collection has many advantages over well water, surface water or city water that the homeowner or business can be rewarded with. A well thought out system will provide many years of quality, reliable, safe water.

Skagit County Potable Water Solution





There is a solution for the landowners in Skagit County for potable water and obtaining a building permit, while protecting the in stream flow rules.

Skagit County has issued the first water availability and building permit with rainwater collection as the single source of water for a single family residence. The Department of Ecology has been promoting rainwater harvesting since 2009 statewide. It is up to each county to decide whether potable usage is allowed. Whatcom, King, Jefferson, Island, and San Juan Island counties have been allowing rainwater collection for some time now with great success. The Department of Ecology has encouraged Skagit County to promote the use of RWC with little support from the Health Department.


angler-280719_1280Rather than continuing the “water war” in the valley, the Building and Health Departments should be promoting rainwater collection. Let the people know that there is a viable solution, so they can build their homes. Offer real case studies from other counties on the quality, availability, and affordable costs of a RWC system. Education about alternative water sources is available from the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) and myself, president of RainBank Rainwater Systems. There are well over 1,000 potable rainwater collection systems in the state providing clean, safe, and reliable water solutions, at costs similar to well-drilling.


Rainwater collection is beneficial to the environment, it mitigates stormwater runoff.  Further benefit is found by protecting and replenishing our aquifers and supporting in stream flow rates.

It’s Time to Get Serious About How We Choose to Use Water

Watering-76e7f031364af9f0a9a0e8545ae150d3The lingering and controversial California drought has unearthed some interesting views about how we prioritize how we use water. What if there was a way to conserve drinking water and STILL have enough to water our drought thirsty lawns or wash laundry – or to clean  trucks in a commercial facility?

The time has come to get serious about how we choose to use water!

Do you know that only one inch of rain can supply thousands of gallons of water for non-drinking uses?  Think in terms of lawn watering, toilet facilities and laundry for commercial and residential applications. The time has come to get serious about how we choose to use water; the reality is (especially in California) that there may not be enough for drinking one day – and sooner than you might think.

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power has released a video that quickly points out the benefits to capturing rain water for use in irrigation.  Take a look at the video below and consider adding rainwater collection to your next residential or commercial project.