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After the first part of our four-part Rainwater Harvesting webinar series, Rainwater Harvesting as a Runoff Reduction Tool, participants had the opportunity to ask our Rainwater Harvesting experts questions.

We didn't have enough time in the hour to answer all of the questions, so we are posting them here so that they are available to all.


These were the top 3 questions asked about Rainwater Harvesting Regulations:

  1. Q: In South Florida, drainage agencies do not give us credits for using cistern to reduce the quantity of stormwater amount. Have you been able to convince drainage agencies otherwise, if so, which one?
    A: Many stormwater regulations now include RWH, but there is still a gap in how to calculate the benefits. Washington DC and Virginia, for example, both deal with issues, and they calculate a credit to the amount of stormwater runoff that you are keeping on-site. In many cases, a specific project brings light to the issue and creates an opportunity for discussion with the regulator.

    Contech has a regional regulator in your area, and we can help explain the benefits to an agency early in the project design cycle. Please contact us if you’d like support for regulatory acceptance.
  2. Q: I’m wondering how much information regulators are requiring to prove that there is a need for all the rainwater you claim to be harvesting. Are people asking you to prove the need?
    A: Documentation requirements of the benefits of the RWH systems vary and would depend on the local municipality or regulatory body reviewing the data. We encourage engineers to work with the mechanical engineer and landscape architect on the project. In many cases they develop detailed water budgets that may be required for permitting. This is very useful information for designing the RWH system and obtaining approval.

    We developed our Rainwater Harvesting Runoff Reduction Calculator to provide these estimates and provide documentation to support the approval process.
  3. Q: Has Contech done an evaluation on the LEED points available for their various Rainwater products? Is that information listed on their website?
    A: LEED reviewers would determine the extent at which LEED points are awarded. LEED 2009 (v3) has a total of 12 points
    available for stormwater, wastewater and water efficiency.

    Runoff reduction can meet both “water quality” and “water quality requirements for stormwater,” which provides 2 points. Reducing or eliminating potable water for outdoor use offers up to 4 points, and reducing potable water for indoor use provides up to 4 points. Finally, innovative wastewater strategies offer 2 points, and re-using blowdown and condensate that would have gone to the treatment plant may meet the objective.

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