Late Pollen Season in Seattle

Pollen season is late for us in Seattle, but it will happen.

Don’t let the continued cool, damp weather fool you. Spring will come and pollen will come with it. Pollen is very fine – approximately 40 microns  and decays quickly, causing odor and tannins or discoloration in your stored water. While not harmful to health, it can be unpleasant. You can choose to divert that spring rain from your storage or conduct simple maintenance tasks.

If you have a screen basket in your collection tank, or sump, a 40 micron insert filter works very well as a first line of defense. These filters are from the dairy industry and are FDA approved food grade.

If your system has a vortex filter, be sure to keep the screen clean by light scrubbing as much as needed, this could be every few days depending on amounts.

Keep gutters clean. If gutter screens are left unchecked, accumulation can restrict flow and cause a slime inside of your gutters. When cleaning gutters, be sure to divert away from your cistern or sump.

A sediment filter can be installed between your collection sump tank and storage. Be sure the micron rating is 40 micron or less for best results. You will more than likely need to change this filter often during the season for best results. Keeping your sump tank clean will help extend the life of the filter.

The idea is to send collected rainfall to your storage as free of pollen as possible.

What Could You Do With Rainwater Coming Off Your Roof?

What Could You Do With Rainwater Coming Off Your Roof?

You could use it for toilet flushing or irrigation as many commercial buildings are doing.
OR you could use it to make wine!

The University of California Davis (UC Davis) and wine production industry solutions provider Winesecrets partnered with GE to pilot an innovative program to use captured rainwater in wine production. By reusing rainwater, rather than pulling freshwater from the aquifer for wine production, the pilot program offers a unique way to supply the needed wash water for the wine production process.

Read more…

Image courtesy of Watertechonline

Interest in Rainwater Collection Sparks a Growing Industry

Interest in rainwater collection has sparked a growing industry throughout the country including the Greater Seattle and outlying areas.

How does one sort through the growing list of those who offer components, designs, and installations?

The first question you should ask yourself is “What am I looking to achieve with a rainwater harvesting system?” Am I looking for small irrigation like a few rain barrels?  Or, do I want a larger system that will supply my household with potable use? The type of system should steer you toward the appropriate expert.

After all, you wouldn’t take your car to a detailer if you were looking for a brake job.

Irrigation systems can be as simple as a few rain barrels on your back porch and is something you can easily do on your own. If a rain garden and passive infiltration  is what you are looking for, there are contractors listed, such as in Seattle’s Rain Wise program. A pressurized sprinkler system should be left to an irrigation company with experience in that field.

Rainwater systems used for domestic supply, such as toilet and laundry facilities, should be designed by a licensed engineer familiar with water systems, an American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) accredited professional or a licensed plumber experienced in water systems. All should show past experience in the type of system you are looking for. Ask for that experience!

Residential, potable systems are allowed in many counties in Washington state and your consideration should be taken VERY seriously. The benefits of residential potable use are vast and can be supplemental or sole source. Only those who can prove a history of designing and installing potable use should be considered for this application, whether an engineer, ARCSA AP, or licensed plumber. Visit ARCSA for those accredited in this field.

Finally, let’s talk about components. There are a host of online dealers out there that are willing to sell you what they carry without much consideration other than cost. One may carry water tanks or another may carry ultra violet disinfection. A good rule of thumb would be that if they are selling unrelated products, they are not invested in the industry and may not have the knowledge of what is best. Our recommendation would be to seek a dealer that carries products specific to rainwater collection, not an added product to an array of different types of products. You don’t want to buy a car from a furniture company. Be a wise consumer and ask questions.

Contact us; rainwater collection is all we do.