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Catch the Rain

pm255_560Savvy Seattleites are capturing rain from their rooftops not only to water their yards, but to slow runoff into the streets. Jim Bristow gives a gutter-to-ground tour of a residential system, including small-profile cisterns tucked beside the house. Jim also shows a “rain garden,” which acts as a catch-basin beside the sidewalk. It collects and drains rainwater, which only spills over into the street during severe rain events.

Government agencies subsidize the cost of these small systems, which reduce the amount of storm water flooding the city’s sewage system, and ultimately flowing into Puget Sound.

Update: Jim’s house has since received a permit to use appropriately-filtered rainwater to supply the whole house—including drinking water, laundry and toilets. His system design is setting the standard for the city. Episode 255.

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