Project Update: Two Sole Source Potable Rainwater Systems

Index tank _bridgeRainBank Rainwater Systems was contracted to install a 10,000 gallon, sole source, potable rainwater catchment system in Baring WA,  just east of Index. The system was designed by Chris Webb, PE of Herrera Environmental Consultants for a single family dwelling. The system will provide potable whole house usage as the only source of water for this 839 square foot home. With  41.2″  annual rainfall, the system is capable of supplying 100% of the household demand based on occupant’s usage requirements.

The small parcel size and the small bridge over the Skykomish bridge limited the feasibility of safely drilling a well and there is no public or community water system. RainBank Rainwater Systems always enjoys a challenge – and this one has many – from a very small lot with wetlands, large boulders throughout the property, the bridge, and location of site

Skagit TanksRainBank Rainwater Systems has recently begun construction of another 10,000 gallon, sole source, potable rainwater collection system in the Skagit River Basin, which has been affected by the in stream flow rates, along with a well drilling moratorium. The system was also designed by Chris Webb and Herrera Environmental Consultants for a single family dwelling. Again, the system will provide whole house potable water as the only source of water. The house is 3500 square feet, so 33.2″ annual rainfall  will meet the daily demand for 95% of the days in this model with no change in use. The reality is, that the occupants would decrease usage during times of drought and therefore the 2 – 5,000 gallon cistern volume is considered capable of supplying 100% of domestic use.

The Cost of Seattle Water


The Cost of Seattle Water

The Seattle water system is a good one, provided by Seattle Public Utilities. But, as the demand grows with urban development and population, the cost of Seattle water will need to rise to support expansion.

A recent article by Gene Balk in the Seattle Times makes some interesting points.  Balk mentions “…bafflingly — drought-stricken Fresno, Calif., has some of the cheapest water in the nation. At a 50-gallon-per-person usage, a family of four would pay just $41.63 — less than one-quarter of the cost in soggy Seattle.”

Balk goes on to write: “Seattle has such high rates because we’ve invested more than most places in our water infrastructure in recent years. We relocated our reservoirs underground, in compliance with federal mandates, to keep our drinking water safe from contaminants. “

We can clearly see that it’s not the amount of Seattle water that is the generator of costs, it is the infrastructure required to convey and treat the water to potable standards.

Approximately 70 % of household water demand is for non potable usage. Irrigation, water closets, laundry, and wash down account for this non potable use. Rainwater collection can mitigate non potable use of city water and have a positive effect on our centralized water system and environment.

The commercial building owner and the home owner can enjoy healthy savings on future Seattle water bills by utilizing rainwater collection. Stormwater reduction could be significantly recognized through on site filtration if buildings and homes in the urban environment adopted rainwater collection .

Seattle is a progressive city in many ways and rainwater collection is part of that progression.

Utah Launches Rain Harvesting Program        

glen-canyon-139942_1280Utah Launches Rain Harvesting Program

Cheers to Utah, which has been dubbed the second driest state in the country (WaterWise Utah), for recently introducing a new rain harvesting program for homeowners and small businesses.

RainHarvest, initiated by The Utah Rivers Council, hopes to inspire small businesses and homeowners to capture rainwater. Since the collected water is free, homeowners and businesses can save money. Rain harvesting program participants will assist in improving water quality in rivers, lakes and streams by helping to reduce runoff. Another positive outcome is that the program will lower Utah’s per person water use, which is the highest in the US.

Rain harvesting, according to the Utah Rivers Council, “Saving water keeps our rivers and streams healthy which is essential for fish and wildlife species which need water to survive Utah’s dry summers. Saving water is everyone’s responsibility because if we don’t save water now, new water sources will force mandatory increases in water rates in the future.”

Tell us where and how rainwater collection has caught on in your state, city or neighborhood. Feel free to leave a comment or contact RainBank.