OK, we’ve been here before, February of 2010 to be exact. That is when I announced my big plan for harvesting the rainwater from my roof, putting it through a filtering system and using it for flushing my toilets. All disguised as a waterfall. A good idea, I thought. Well, back in 2010 I ran out of money to finish the project and the tanks have been sitting my back yard since.
Much has changed in the last four years and Seattle is on board with rainwater harvesting. (If you remember, rain barrels used to be the only option.) In 2013 the city of Seattle created a program called RainWise where large rain barrels (called cisterns) are encouraged to be used for watering your gardens, and/or directing rainwater to the sewer or conveyance channel. There are REBATES available for homeowners who participate in this program and live within a specific area. There are some requirements: a minimum of 400 sf of roof area must be directed to one cistern, you must used a licensed bonded contractor from the list of authorized contractors, etc. These are easy requirements to fill and I encourage everyone that qualifies for the rebate to participate. In fact, even if you do not qualify for the rebate you should participate.
My project was always a bit more comprehensive, the big tanks have to be placed under ground and I will have meters to monitor the water useage, etc. It helps to remind everyone why I am doing this in the first place – because it makes me crazy that we use treated, drinkable water to flush our toilets. Many of my home projects wind up being more than the initial design….the gutter waterfall has turned into a rockery waterfall/small pond, and I’m thinking about building an ADU (attached dwelling unit) that incorporates the harvesting system. Hopefully, with the help of the city of Seattle I may be able to start this project up again!
Going Green, Christine