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If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll understand why it’s so important to have an effective stormwater management plan in place. We’ve talked at length about the drawbacks of stormwater to the environment, but what about its benefits?

Stormwater harvesting provides an outstanding alternative to using mains drinking water for an array of purposes. It’s important to note that, if harvesting stormwater, there are environmental and human health risks that need to be carefully managed to handle urban contaminants such as litter, oil, chemicals, etc. As long as stormwater compliance practices are in place to mitigate pollution issues, stormwater is a valuable resource which we should all be using, especially in desert states like California and Nevada.

Stormwater can be used safely for purposes such as irrigation, as long as stormwater management protocols and best catchment practices are adhered to.

As a homeowner, you can use collected rainwater safely:

  • Only capture stormwater within the boundary of your property, and only if your property is clear of loose soil and chemical or oil spills
  • Only use stormwater for watering the garden and flushing the toilet
  • Never use stormwater for food preparation, bathing, or drinking
  • Have a licensed plumber install stormwater plumbing systems. This applies to using stormwater in the house (for flushing the toilet) to ensure that cross contamination with drinking water can’t occur

Municipalities can use harvested stormwater for irrigation and other purposes. There are strict guidelines governing this use.

There are a number of programs in California which work to efficiently reuse rainwater. Some of these include:

  • Santa Monica Pico Branch Library – recycles rainwater for non-drinking purposes and even allows for treatment of rainwater to drinking quality if required.
  • Tetra Tech and the City of Los Angeles undertook a 2015 pilot project to retrofit homes in the LA area with an advanced system for the capture and storage of stormwater for later use in irrigation.
  • Greywater Action is an organization that works with water policy makers to develop incentives for rainwater harvesting. It also runs workshops and presentations to businesses and individuals on harvesting of rainwater, using graywater, and composting of toilets.
  • The National Water Research Institute is a nonprofit organization that sponsors programs to ensure reliable and safe water sources.

Use of stormwater harvesting is essential for the future of the water supply in dry, drought-ridden areas, especially those with a growing population.

Contact CloudCompli for access to more information on stormwater management.