Rainwater Catchment
Also known as rainwater harvesting or rainwater collection, it is the simple act of collecting the rainwater that runs off the hardscapes on your site for beneficial use.

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Rainwater collection is legal in the State of Washington

Residents of Washington state may harvest rainwater without a permit as long as:

  • it's used on the property from which it was collected

  • it's collected on an existing rooftop

 

Washington state law even authorizes counties to reduce rates for

stormwater control facilities that utilize rainwater harvesting. Wash. Rev. Code §36.89.080.

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Passive

Active

Passive methods for rainwater harvesting, include infiltration basins, bio-swales, etc. that slow or stop the flow of runoff across your site. These allow stormwater to infiltrate into the ground, hydrating soils and recharging groundwater.

Active rainwater harvesting catches and stores the water in one or more containers, such as barrels or cisterns for later use.  With active rainwater harvesting, you control when, where, and how the water is used.

Rainwater harvesting makes the most of your resources;

managing water that would, at best, be wasted and, at worse, be destructive and directing it to where it can be a useful and cost-effective resource. 

Low impact development promotes the view of rainwater as a resource to be preserved and protected, not a nuisance to be eliminated. 

Harvesting rainwater doesn't have to be a big project. It can just be one rain barrel attached to one gutter that provides convenient water for the chicken yard or for watering a flowerbed without having to drag a hose, etc.

Small systems work fine and expanding your system is fairly easy. Start by deciding how much water you are hoping to store and where you want to locate it. Placing the barrel higher up than anywhere the water will be used allows the use gravity instead of a pump.

It is best if barrels block out any light that could enter them, to avoid growth of pathogens inside the water.

During the summer months it is estimated that nearly 40 percent of household water is used for lawn and garden maintenance. A rain barrel collects water and stores it for those times that you need it most — during the dry summer months. Using rain barrels potentially helps homeowners lower water bills, while also improving the vitality of plants, flowers, trees, and lawns.

The average rainfall of one inch within a 24-hour period can produce more than 700 gallons of water that runs off the roof of a typical house.

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