All posts by Sonia Schenker

Sonia has worked behind the scenes as an administrator for RainBank since January, 2010. She has 25 plus years’ experience as an executive administrative assistant and also teaches modern office options to adults seeking to improve workplace skills. Based in the northeast US, Sonia manages and advises on all business aspects for RainBank Rainwater Systems, including blog, website and social media management and overall business strategy.

Reinventing Water Supplies – ARCSA Conference 2016

ARCSA Conference 2016The theme of ARCSA’s 12th annual conference, set for December in Las Vegas, NV, will highlight reinventing water supplies.

The Mission of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association is to promote sustainable rainwater harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world.

The conference and expo will be filled with learning and buying opportunities and will be held at the convention center in conjunction with conferences for the Irrigation and Groundwater Associations.

Visit the ARCSA conference registration page for more information.

RainBank’s leader, Ken Blair, is an accredited ARCSA  Professional, Inspector Specialist, Designer / Installer and Life Member, a Pacific Coastal Regional ARCSA representative and advisor to its education committee. Ken is tapped by architects, engineers, government agencies and related professional associations to provide lectures or participate on expert panels to discuss Rainwater Collection Systems design and builds.

RainBank is also the Northwest region distributor for Contain Water Tanks, which are backed with an unmatched 20-year warranty.

Turkish Bath Becomes Rainwater Collection Cistern

mosaic-200864_640With a little bit of creative thought, Tacoma, WA set out on a path of  green capability while reclaiming a downtown area that had become degraded and mostly abandoned – partly using a Turkish bath.

In an article from Environmental Protection Online, we learn how the city of Tacoma repurposed  Park Plaza South. During the reconstruction, an old Turkish Bath was uncovered. Cleverly, the designers decided to use the old bath as a rainwater collection cistern, which would collect water to be used for irrigation and toilet flushing.

“Other sustainable features at Pacific Plaza include 36 percent of the building materials being recycled, from structural steel and panel metal sidings to wood and windows. All of the products used met LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) thresholds for low-emitting materials, while interior materials such as carpet, flooring, paint, and composite woods had low levels of volatile organic compounds.

These features, along with the rainwater collection system, earned the building a NAIOP Sustainable Development Award and LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. While the Platinum certification was the city’s first, there now are more than 25 local businesses, schools, or housing complexes that are silver or better LEED-Certified in Tacoma, with many more in the works.”

Orcas Island Students Embrace Farm to School

11174691_945156938838944_8341151891330574139_o-1According to the National Farm to School Network, “Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and preschools.”

We wrote about this last year when Orcas Island School embraced the concept:

RainBank Rainwater Systems is very pleased to learn that the Farm to Cafeteria program is flourishing at Orcas Island School, thanks, in part to the Orcas Island Education Foundation.

Ken Blair Orcas Island SchoolRainBank was asked to construct a system and then teach the children about rainwater collection and water conservation. The water is collected from the school’s roof and stored in a 5,000-gallon cistern to be used for irrigation of a vegetable garden. The vegetables are used as part of the school lunch program and to teach the students about sustainability.

“Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities. NFSN provides vision, leadership and support at the state, regional and national levels to connect and expand the farm to school movement, which has grown from a handful of schools in the late 1990s to approximately 40,000 schools in all 50 states as of 2012.  Click to learn more about farm to school nationwide.

10668727_810384465649526_2201333603360116460_oThe Orcas Island School garden is flourishing and community involvement is extraordinary. We are proud to part of this exceptional project and hope other communities will offer similar programs. Sustainability is the future for these young persons.

We all benefit when our children have the opportunity to learn about, but also have access to healthy, local foods.