What is Rainwater Harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting is the capture and storage of rainwater for beneficial use. Rainwater is considered the cleanest form of harvested water and can be used for toilet flushing, hose bibs, industrial applications, domestic clothes washing, irrigation, water features and other approved usages.
Rainwater harvesting can be an important green building strategy, and can contribute towards credits in both the LEED™ standard and Built Green™ program. For example, rainwater harvesting can help a project achieve stormwater quantity, water efficient landscaping, innovative wastewater technologies, water use reduction and innovation in design credits in the LEED standard. For more information on LEED visit www.usgbc.org, and Built Green visit www.builtgreen.net.
Why harvest rainwater?
Rainwater harvesting provides many benefits. It can generate savings by reducing utility fees charged for potable water use and sanitary sewer use. It protects our local water bodies such as the Puget Sound, Lake Union and Lake Washington by reducing combined sewer overflows during peak storm events. And, rainwater harvesting conserves water by reducing demand for potable water that is used for non-potable purposes.
What are the requirements for Rainwater Harvesting?
Plumbing and Public Health Requirements
Stormwater Code Requirements
How is Seattle promoting Rainwater Harvesting?
Rainwater Client Assistance Memo
Water Right Permit
Natural Gardening and Rain Barrel Program
Are there incentives for Rainwater Harvesting?
Lower Drainage Fees
Financial Incentives for Businesses and Industrial Facilities
Seattle Green Factor Bonus
When used for landscape irrigation, rainwater harvesting can provide bonus credits for the Green Factor landscaping requirement. A series of worksheets help applicants calculate their project’s score, allowing them to try different combinations of features to reach the requirement, including the Green Factor Worksheet; Planting Area Calculation worksheet; and Rainwater Harvesting Calculation Tool. All tools are available here.
Are there examples of Rainwater Harvesting Systems?
Seattle Case Studies
Additional Rainwater Harvesting Resources
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