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Cistern Love by Jo Sullivan


isterns are large, above ground containers used to collect rain that falls on a roof– bascially, they are super-sized rain barrels that hold between 200 and 1,000 gallons of water. Larger sizes are available but are usually used in agricultural or industrial settings. Most cisterns today are made of a heavy duty plastic and come in a variety of colors and shapes from round to “slim-line� models that fit against a wall. They are heavy duty enough to be warrantied for ten years.

Capturing water all year round People all over Puget Sound are enthusiastic about capturing rain to use for interior and GP-28

exterior watering during our dry summers. Collected rainwater can water pots of happy plants all summer and soak thyme and fall vegetables that are just going into the ground in fall. Collected rainwater can be used for any non-drinking water purpose. Brace Point Pottery, for example, even uses their collected rainwater in making their pottery! It is surprising how even our short summer showers provide enough rainwater for much of our home watering needs. Beyond providing water in the summer, collecting rainwaterin the winter, allows homeowners to store the water temporarily and allow it to trickle out into the storm or sewer system. This helps Northwest EcoBuilding Guild

reduce stormwater impacts, including erosion, flooding, and local waterway pollution and, especially in neighborhoods with combined sewer systems in Seattle, helps keep sewage from overflowing into our local waterways. One of the best methods for collecting rainwater is to use a cistern.

RainWise cisterns keep local waters clean RainWise, a partnership between Seattle Public Utilities and King County Wastewater Treatment Division, is an innovative program in Seattle to help reduce combined sewer overflows resulting from excess

Green Pages 2016  

The NW EcoBuilding Guild's directory of sustainable building professionals

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