Tag Archives: Rainwater harvesting Seattle

2015 Rainwater Harvesting Highlights


As we close the books on 2015, the team at RainBank would like to thank our colleagues, customers, suppliers and strategic partners for a year that exceeded our expectations for residential and commercial interest in rainwater harvesting for potable and non-potable applications. We’d like to share with you some of our highlights for the year:

In March we shared how architectural and engineering firms are including rainwater collection systems in their designs. Government agencies are beginning to understand the connection between stormwater management and rainwater collection. Read more…

As such, we wrote about how building designers and owners are showcasing their commitment to conservation, and incorporating functionality with aesthetics, in turn, this practice furthers customer and general public interest in conservation and rainwater collection, creating even more public awareness of the need for conservation and sustainable living practices. Read more…

RainBank has completed so many steel tank builds, we’ve created a gallery of these beauties. Click here to view.

Whether you’re considering a potable, or non-potable system, storage is always a big decision in the design and installation of a rainwater harvesting system.  Click here to read more about the types of storage vessels available.

We get so many inquiries about whether or not rainwater collection is legal in the Seattle area, so we shared this post to help clear up confusion.

As RainBank grows, we have added services to make us your one-stop-shop for quality advice and products for and about rainwater harvesting systems. Here is our blog post announcing the launch of our shopping cart. We will be adding more products in 2016.

As we say goodbye to 2015, RainBank will continue developing strategic relationships with colleagues and suppliers. We want to be YOUR go-to expert for consulting, design, installation and high quality rainwater harvesting products that will keep your system running for many years.

Water is a basic human right; we value that. We wish you a happy, healthy and safe 2016 and we look forward to working with you in the future.

Simple Steps for Rainwater System Winterization

Snowy_street_in_downtown_SeattleWith the cold weather upon us, many rainwater systems need to be winterized.

Most whole house use rainwater collection systems are frost protected when installed, due to their use in the winter months. But, if your rainwater system is used for irrigation only, or if you have a simple rain barrel system, winterization is an important maintenance task that should be addressed before the cold weather hits. Broken pipes can lead to draining your cistern empty, or possible damage your pressure pump. Costly repairs or replacement of components can be avoided with little planning.

Be sure your pipes are not exposed to the weather by insulating, or draining. If draining, be sure to leave the valves open afterward. You can temporarily cover pipes with straw or hay if necessary.

Drain the pump of all water – including what is in the expansion tank, leaving this valve open, too.

Be sure to inspect your first flush device “dribbler valve” to be sure it is clear of obstructions so it will operate correctly.

Inspect systems to be sure there are no leaks from cisterns and that your gutter system is clean and ready to collect rain for spring and summer use.

Simple steps can be taken to insure your rainwater collection system will be operational for the next season and that you are collecting water during the winter months.

Snowy Street Downtown Seattle courtesy of Ekaune

Rainwater Collection for Potable Use in an Urban Environment

seattle-skylineSupplementary whole-house use of rainwater in an urban environment is more complex than collecting for potable use in a rural environment. In a rural environment, there is typically more room for storage, allowing the homeowner to store more water than that in an urban setting.

The larger question, however, is – what is landing on my roof and how do I know my collected water will be safe to drink?

In a rural setting, organics are what you need to filter out before the water is to be disinfected and considered potable. A sediment filter, followed by a carbon filter prior to ultraviolet disinfection can achieve this. Bird droppings are the primary concern in this situation.

In an urban environment, other constituents coming in contact with your roof may need to be addressed. Consider where your home is located. Environmental considerations such as automobile and truck emissions can have an impact on your roof runoff and must be removed with proper filtration. Pesticide use is more likely to be encountered in an urban setting than a rural environment. Simple sampling and laboratory testing should be conducted of raw water so proper filtration can be used to eliminate possible contaminants.

Urban potable usage of roof top collected water can be achieved with the proper filtration as with any rural potable system as long as the right filtration is used.

Photo: Julie Gentry