Dept of Ecology finally approves rain barrels

Apparently Jay Manning approved the use of rain barrels before leaving.. The story was covered by Chris Dunagan in his recent column.

Rainwater harvesting at home given a ‘thumbs up’

October 15th, 2009 by cdunagan

Jay Manning’s last official act as director of the Washington Department of Ecology was to announce that a water right will not be required to collect rainwater from the roof of a building.

It has been a bone of contention among some folks that state water law appears to require a water rights permit for the diversion of “water resources,” which is defined as “all waters above, upon, or beneath the surface of the earth, located within the state and over which the state has sole or concurrent jurisdiction.”

But state water law also gives the director of Ecology broad discretion to write regulations in the public interest.

Ecology specifically recognizes that rainwater harvesting can be a tool to manage stormwater. See Ecology’s paper on this subject.

In a one-page statement (PDF 124 kb), Manning declared:

“The on-site storage and/or beneficial use of rooftop or guzzler collected rainwater is not subject to the permit process of RCW 90.03.”

Read the rest of the story at Chris’ site, listed above.

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