Rainwater Collection as a Sound Investment
Water, despite its critical importance to life, has traditionally been inexpensive in Washington State and throughout the United States. The payback period for rainwater collection systems is on the order of twenty plus years. For some Washingtonians, like folks in the San Juan Islands, the payback period is irrelevant because there is often no new water available – rainwater is the only option. For other Washingtonians, like some Seattleites who have already invested in large catchment systems, it’s not just about making a sound investment, it’s about doing good for the environment – investing in the Sound.
Anyone who pays a drainage fee or a stormwater fee knows the cost of treating stormwater is expensive and going up. State law provides for reduced stormwater fees for commercial buildings that incorporate rainwater harvest systems. A reduced water bill coupled with reduced stormwater fees, reduces the payback period to approaching ten years. That’s a good thing – not just for Washingtonians who will save money in the long run, but for Puget Sound and every other aquatic resource that knows the fate of stormwater runoff all too well.
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