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.
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.
RainBank has always been proactive in the advancement of rainwater collection. We designed and built the first potable system in Seattle, as well as the first potable systems in Skagit, Jefferson, and Whatcom Counties.
Additionally, we have been designing and building rainwater collection systems for potable and non potable demands for more than 15 years throughout Washington and Oregon.
RainBank began in San Juan County, which at that time, was the only county that allowed rainwater harvesting in the state. San Juan County had an exemption to the state’s water rights laws that considered rainwater a tributary and therefore not subject to those laws. It wasn’t until 2009 that Department of Ecology convinced the legislature that rainwater collection was beneficial and therefore should be allowed. More counties began to come on board to allow the use of treated rainwater for potable use, with King County adopting in 2011. Since then, many counties in Western Washington now allow the practice, but there are still those who have not.
We were recently contacted by a customer from Wahkiakum county in southwest Washington, who wished to use rainwater collection for potable use on his property. The spring that was grandfathered in did not pass the last well report and was deemed unsafe for consumption. I petitioned the county health department for acceptance of a sole source potable system and was told they never heard of the practice. I sent documentation from Department of Ecology, King County policies, ARCSA (American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association), a list of Washington counties that have adopted rainwater use, a few case studies, and our website.
I am pleased to announce that Wahkiakum County responded that they will consider a design for residential potable use for this project.
It is through experience, expertise and commitment that RainBank Rainwater Systems is the leader in Washington State’s rainwater catchment industry.