Tag Archives: WA

Can Rainwater Collection Control Stormwater Issues in WA?

Photo courtesy of danschenker.com
Is promotion of rainwater collection an opportunity for counties in Washington State to control stormwater?

As of October 2009, rainwater collection is legal in all counties in Washington State. Many county Health Departments are allowing collected rainwater for potable use as well. King County, the largest county in the state, allows for potable usage. Seattle Public Utilities offers rebates for rain gardens in certain areas of Seattle such as Ballard. The Rainwise Program encourages home owners to collect and use roof runoff to help control storm water. Many consumers have taken advantage of this program and are practicing good storm water control. The GSI or “green storm water infrastructure” mandate addresses the issue of storm water runoff for new construction by total infiltration of impervious surfaces on site.

But what about all the existing buildings and houses throughout our state including Seattle area, where stormwater runoff still overwhelms sewer systems, causing intentional sewage release into the Puget Sound during large rain events?

What can the counties and municipalities do to encourage existing building and home owners to control their runoff, thus reducing or eliminating these large releases?  Public awareness is an excellent start. County and municipality funded education using media and public service announcements promoting rainwater catchment practices while offering incentives such as the Rainwise program would generate interest. A properly funded program of encouragement and incentives would create more public interest to adopt rainwater collection, as it has with the Rainwise Program, while money being spent to promote would be absorbed by the cost savings to the overwhelmed systems we experience now.

Rainfall collection and use can be part of the solution to Seattle’s storm water issue, augmenting the GSI mandate by addressing runoff, not only from new construction, but from existing buildings and homes as well. It’s fair to say that most  Seattleites would welcome being part of the solution — if given the opportunity.

Commercial Uses for Rainwater Collection

Uses for Rainwater CollectionRainBank Rainwater Systems has been retained to design and build a rainwater collection system for Cherry Valley Dairy in Duvall, WA.  The goal is to collect and treat enough rainwater to mitigate the farm’s city water usage by 100%. Currently the farm uses over 7,500 gallons monthly for watering the livestock and milking equipment wash down. With over 12,000 square feet of roof area and approximately 36 inches of annual rainfall, that’s over 269,000 of available rainwater – more than enough to supply the farm’s usage.  (Click to see more about Cherry Valley Dairy on Facebook and while you’re there, don’t forget to like RainBank on Facebook, too!)

RainBank is pleased to see more innovative uses of rainwater collection in the Pacific Northwest.  As the economy is growing again, businesses are looking for ways to save on operating costs. With large roof areas and high use operations such as the dairy, commercial customers are recognizing that a return on investment can be achieved in a realistic time frame. Their customers appreciate the “echo friendly” approach to the production of their goods and products.

RainBank is looking forward to working with Cherry Valley Dairy and supports their business approach to be the first in the area to use rainwater collection as their water source.