Mar 032010

On October 12, 2009, the Washington State  Department of Ecology issued an Interpretive Policy Statement clarifying that a water right is not required for rooftop rainwater harvesting. Up to that point it was a gigantic hassle to get a permit.

Water on Lummi Island may be as iffy as the ferry. No one seems to know the extent of our aquifers. One supposes that our well supply is rainwater soaking into the recharge areas and dripping down through the rocks. The east side seems to have a more reliable supply than the west side.

If you are worried about water at all you ought to consider harvesting some of that free rainwater. At least set up a rain barrel or two (handy for that first rinse of veggies from the garden). Large tanks go for about $.50 per gallon of capacity. Much cheaper than drilling a well.

Since October 12, several islanders have installed 2500 rainwater collection tanks. The water can be used for irrigation or hooked up to your domestic water system.
Jamison Construction installed ours. Charlie Nielsen handled the excavation and water lines. Tom Scott has been involved in the potable water systems. Others have installed their own systems.

Our two tanks, installed in November, are full. 5000 gallons of water available for the garden or for water emergencies.


  4 Responses to “Harvesting Rainwater”

  1. I need to chat with you about this. I’m trying to push water retention systems and water barrels into the residential side of our housing portfolio at HH, urban and rural settings alike. You can probably expect a call from me in the next few days:)


    According to this calculator, you should have more than two months of water supply for all purposes in your household with your 5000 gallon rain harvest. Of course, if it rains during the 2 months you could have an indefinite water supply. Job well done.

  3. The state of Hawaii has a comprehensive guide for water catchment that I downloaded a couple years ago. Well worth perusing if your interested in a potable system.

  4. Thanks Jim. I will look for this. Have had a bit of experience with water catchment in Hawaii. We can learn alot from their experience. Thousands of people over there rely on water catchment.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>