Category Archives: Residential Rainwater Collection

Skagit County Water Source

RainBank Rainwater Systems has broken through the barriers that have restricted rainwater collection as an approved water source for single family residences in Skagit County.

With the instream flow rules,  many property owners in the Skagit River Basin were unable to develop their properties. WA State Department of Ecology encouraged Skagit County to adopt the practice as a solution that would benefit the river and salmon habitat, while providing a viable water source. Limited permitting for the affected areas was considered as recently as 2015.

A group of residents from Guemas Island petitioned the county to accept rainwater for potable use for homes that were experiencing salt water intrusion in their wells. RainBank Rainwater Systems, along Tim Pope, ARCSA educator and past president, met with Skagit County in January 2017 to encourage acceptance of potable rainwater collection as a viable alternative source, not only in the instream flow rules affected areas but to those who are experiencing other hardships regarding potable water.

RainBank Rainwater Systems is pleased with the recent design approvals from Skagit County for potable residential RWC systems outside the instream flow rules, allowing for more property owners in Skagit County. We look forward to assisting Skagit County residents with their dreams of developing or purchasing properties with limited water resources.

Quality of Harvested Rainwater

Whether your rainwater harvesting system is for non-potable or potable use, there are key factors that dictate the quality of that collected water and the success of your system.  Collection surfaces should be compatible with intended usage.  While an asphalt shingle roof may lend itself for collection of a non-potable demand, a baked enamel, metal roof would be preferred for potable use.

Rainwater that has been collected in a manner that reduces debris and contamination will store better than that which has not. Bacterial growth can be kept to a minimum by prescreening and aerating rainwater entering storage. Diffusing, or calming water entering storage will reduce disturbance of any sediment, allowing microorganisms to do their job by eating bacteria. All inlets and outlets of cistern(s) should be screened and protected from insects and vermin entering the storage tank.  Mid-level in the water column is the cleanest source of water to be delivered to the pressure pump and can be achieved with a floating/screened suction.

Properly designed and installed conveyance and storage should require little maintenance, but should be looked after by the purveyor. Gutter system and screens should be inspected and cleaned as needed, especially during pollen season. Debris in the gutter should not be allowed to enter the conveyance lines. Periodic inspections will reduce the buildup of unwanted debris that may cause odor or discoloration of your stored water.

By conveying and storing your harvested rainwater properly, your pressurizing and filtration system will operate to its greatest potential, producing quality domestic water for both non-potable and potable demands.

Skagit County Rainwater Collection for Household Use

Skagit County allows residents rainwater collection for household use.

Skagit County will consider rainwater collection as an alternative source for potable water for a single family residence in affected areas of the in stream flow rules and its well moratorium. This welcome decision will allow over 5,000 land owners to develop their properties while keeping with the treaty agreement of well allocations.

Recently, Guemes Island residents were successful in petitioning Skagit County to recognize rainwater collection as a viable source for single family dwellings due to saltwater intrusion.

The city of Anacortes has also joined in on allowance of potable use of rainwater as a water source for single family residence.

Systems must be designed by a recognized rainwater systems designer and wet stamped by a Washington State Engineer for approval. All system designs must meet current ARCSA/ASPE 63 standards and local plumbing codes and must be installed by a licensed plumber.

RainBank Rainwater Systems would like to thank Skagit County Planning Department on behalf of their residents in this action. RainBank Rainwater Systems  meets all requirements set by the city and county for design and installation of all rainwater systems and would be happy to discuss your project.

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