Good news for some Skagit County property owners affected by Washington’s Department Of Ecology 2001 In Stream Flow Rules. According to an article in the Skagit Valley Herald, Ecology’s Kristin Johnson-Wagner says, “The county now has the authority to allow wells as a legal source of water for the purpose of issuing building permits.”
The 56 square mile area within the basin extends from Bayview South to La Conner and as far as Sedro-Woolley. Other areas outside the designated area are still subject to the 2001 ruling with hopes that more areas will be relaxed as well.
According to the state’s website, there is an interactive map tool (iMAP) which will help you learn if your property is affected by the Skagit River Instream Flow Rule . Under “Map Categories”, choose “Planning and Development” and then choose “Skagit Instream Rule Area”. The area affected by the Instream Flow rule will be shown.
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.