RainBank customers in Seattle and throughout the Puget Sound region are reporting their tanks are remaining full this Spring.
Above average rainfall for December through March has kept water levels high in most cisterns this Spring. April and May saw less than average rainfall and June remains to be seen. For those customers for whom captured rain is their only source of water, this should come as good news. We are expected to be heading into a new La Nina weather pattern late this fall, which is expected to bring wetter conditions than normal. All of this means that most water tank levels are going into summer with more volume than normal and should refill faster in the fall. Of course all forecasts are speculative and conservation is always encouraged.
Regardless if your rainwater system is sole source or supplemental, existing, newly constructed, or scheduled for construction this summer, the forecast is in your favor.
At RainBank Rainwater Systems, we design and build sustainable systems. With more than 15 years of experience providing safe, quality systems for residential, commercial, non potable or potable, we can answer your questions about rainwater collection. Do you have questions? We usually respond within 48 hours. Contact us using the form below.
Seattle residents enjoy the advantage of being able to collect rainwater for both non potable and potable use.
A single family residence can supplement city water for whole house use with rainwater. Rainwater collection has many benefits to the home owner – whether intended for irrigation or household use. Toilet flushing, laundry facility, and wash down are non potable uses that can save water consumption and money on monthly bills.
Systems can be easily installed for new construction or retro-fitted for existing homes. According to the American Water Works Association (AWWA) non potable usage accounts for approximately 52% of residential usage. We know that collected rainwater helps supply nutrients to soil and provides naturally soft water for bathing and washing. With proper filtration and disinfection, the collected rainwater can be used for potable demands (sinks, showers, and drinking water), which account for the other 48% demand.
An average 2,000 square foot roof in Seattle will see over 44,000 gallons of roof runoff annually.
This runoff either enters the city’s stormwater system or enters its combined sewer system. The latter can result in intentional release into the Puget Sound when system are overwhelmed. The City of Seattle is mandated by the Federal Government to meet these challenges by requiring onsite infiltration of all new construction.
Seattle Public Utilities, along with King county, have the daunting task of mapping, upgrading and replacing an outdated public stormwater system. This federally required mandate will be lengthy and expensive.
RainBank Rainwater Systems designs and constructs systems for our clients’ specific needs. We calculate amounts available, usage, storage and automate systems to switch from city water to rainwater, depending on the seasons’ rainfall amounts and the desired usage. This technique optimizes roof runoff to demand, reducing stormwater while lowering city water usage. The water quality is superior, it is good for our Puget Sound and waterways, and it will reduce monthly water bills. We live in an area that is ideal for rainwater collection are you taking advantage of that.
The drought that hit Washington state in 2015 has been nearly eradicated due to heavy rains and snow to ring in 2016. According to the the U.S. Drought Monitor, the south-east corner of the state is still in moderate drought, but with a high percentage of Washington’s water supply coming from snowpack accumulations and which statewide are more than 100 percent of normal for this time of year, most Washingtonians are sitting pretty when it comes to water supplies since forecasts for the April-September runoff period are within the normal range.
What does this mean for the future of water conservation in Washington state?
According to its website, “The Water Supply Availability Committee (WSAC) will continue to meet in 2016 to evaluate current and forecasted water supply conditions and to consider whether drought conditions are likely to be in effect spring and summer. This web page is provided to track the meeting information for this group.
The 2015 statewide drought declaration expired December 31, 2015. Forecasts for January thru March 2016 are for warmer, drier conditions as a result of El Niño. Ecology will continue to evaluate conditions and monitor water supplies.”
What does this mean for folks who use water in Washington state?
RainBank had a busy first quarter designing and installing rainwater collection systems in the Puget Sound area and Portland, OR. These were projects where residents and businesses wanted to capture the El Niño driven rains for drinking, irrigation, toilet and/or laundry facilities. Some will use their systems to supplement well or city water, while others are able to go completely off-grid and use rainwater to supply all of their needs.
We don’t have to wait for drought to set our conservation plans in motion. Be proactive and contact RainBank today to learn how you can include rainwater harvesting in your new construction or remodeling project. We work closely with general contractors and architects to design and construct the most efficient, well-constructed system you can find anywhere in the country. We stand by our systems, many of which are still operating after 15 years.