Tag Archives: Wahkiakum

Potable Rainwater Collection Adopted in Snohomish County

Snohomish County adopts rainwater collection for potable usage for single family residence.

In September 2015, we published a post recommending that both Snohomish and Pierce Counties adopt rainwater collection for residential potable usage. The necessity for adoption was presented considering a 30% reduction in water availability was predicted in the next 35 years.

The Seattle Times reported about the Hirst Decision and its effects in rural development in many counties throughout Washington. These counties should follow the lead of counties before them by providing a sustainable, viable water rights decision on single family residences that allows for potable rainwater systems. It is the only fair decision to be made.

We congratulate Snohomish County for having a progressive approach to water conservation.  Adding to our list of firsts, this week, we will install the first potable residential system in Wahkiakum County upon their acceptance of a RainBank Rainwater Systems design.

RainBank Rainwater Systems has been Designing and installing Rainwater collection for residential potable usage for over 16 years. We will continue to promote, advise, and educate rainwater collection as a viable, sustainable water source in all counties in Washington State.

We look forward to helping those in Snohomish County achieve water rights for potable usage using rainwater collection.

Proactive in the Advancement of Rainwater Collection

mt.rainierRainBank 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.

Will Wahkiakum County Be Next?

Possibly anWahkiakumother county in Washington will adopt rainwater harvesting for potable use in single family homes.

As an ARCSA (American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association) Regional representative, part of my job is to educate the public and authorities on the use and benefits of rainwater collection. While many counties have adopted RWC for potable use in single family homes, there are still a few that have not recognized the practice and its benefits.

Recently, I was contacted by a potential customer from Wahkiakum County that would like to collect rainwater for whole household usage. He has water rights to a spring dating back to the early 1900,s, but the water is high in chlorides and irons, and not very desirable. To drill a well would surely produce similar results based on existing wells in the immediate area. The customer would like to build a retirement home in this beautiful area, but is unable to do so since the well test results do not meet the county standards.

I had a nice discussion with the Wahkiakum County Health Department, who seemed to be genuinely interested in the concept. I sent the department numerous case studies as well as links to State Ecology, King County Health, ARCSA, and a host of information on the subject. I think I struck a chord with King County’s acceptance and hope to continue the conversation with them soon.

Has your county adopted RWC for potable use? If not please contact me using the form below.