Tag Archives: toilet

Create Your Own Water Supply

As we’ve written many times over the years, you can create your own water supply, not just for drinking, but also for laundry, toilet and irrigation in a commercial and residential environment, depending on where your home or business is located.

Here’s an article we shared in June 2014, about how rainwater collection is a reliable water supply alternative to city or well water.

“Below are some notable findings on rainwater collection compiled by ARCSA from the 2013 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Water Companies:”  read more

Interest in Rainwater Collection Sparks a Growing Industry

Interest in rainwater collection has sparked a growing industry throughout the country including the Greater Seattle and outlying areas.

How does one sort through the growing list of those who offer components, designs, and installations?

The first question you should ask yourself is “What am I looking to achieve with a rainwater harvesting system?” Am I looking for small irrigation like a few rain barrels?  Or, do I want a larger system that will supply my household with potable use? The type of system should steer you toward the appropriate expert.

After all, you wouldn’t take your car to a detailer if you were looking for a brake job.

Irrigation systems can be as simple as a few rain barrels on your back porch and is something you can easily do on your own. If a rain garden and passive infiltration  is what you are looking for, there are contractors listed, such as in Seattle’s Rain Wise program. A pressurized sprinkler system should be left to an irrigation company with experience in that field.

Rainwater systems used for domestic supply, such as toilet and laundry facilities, should be designed by a licensed engineer familiar with water systems, an American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) accredited professional or a licensed plumber experienced in water systems. All should show past experience in the type of system you are looking for. Ask for that experience!

Residential, potable systems are allowed in many counties in Washington state and your consideration should be taken VERY seriously. The benefits of residential potable use are vast and can be supplemental or sole source. Only those who can prove a history of designing and installing potable use should be considered for this application, whether an engineer, ARCSA AP, or licensed plumber. Visit ARCSA for those accredited in this field.

Finally, let’s talk about components. There are a host of online dealers out there that are willing to sell you what they carry without much consideration other than cost. One may carry water tanks or another may carry ultra violet disinfection. A good rule of thumb would be that if they are selling unrelated products, they are not invested in the industry and may not have the knowledge of what is best. Our recommendation would be to seek a dealer that carries products specific to rainwater collection, not an added product to an array of different types of products. You don’t want to buy a car from a furniture company. Be a wise consumer and ask questions.

Contact us; rainwater collection is all we do.

New Seattle Homeowners Can Save Big Bucks

Galvanized Water TankDo you know that by installing a rainwater collection system for toilet flushing and laundry facility, Seattle homeowners can save big bucks on their water and sewer bill? Considering the expected price increases over the next 5 – 10 years on these utilities, a return on investment is a reasonable expectation.

A study by the American Water Works Association to determine end use of water in 100 single family homes was conducted back in 1999. Even though the study is dated, it is a good indicator of average single family usage with regard to rainwater collection.

The study found that 27.7 % total household use of water is used in toilet flushing and 20.9% total household water use is by laundry facility. These uses can be improved by low usage fixtures such as dual flush toilets and front load washers, however, they do indicate an average of 48.6 % water consumption by these two fixtures.

New home construction in the Seattle area is required to mitigate roof runoff on impervious surfaces on site. Costs of infiltration can be expensive.  A well-designed and installed rainwater catchment system uses this runoff water for domestic use rather than infiltration. By redirecting the costs of infiltration design and construction and considering the savings on water and sewer bills, the average Seattle home owner can see a significant cost savings as well as a return on investment.

With all of the news about aging water systems, poisoned and tainted public water, conservation and sustainability, isn’t it time to design and build your rainwater collection system?

This post was originally published under the title Can Average Seattle Homeowner Benefit From Rainwater Collection?