Code Council Signs MOU with ARCSA for Greater Rainwater Harvesting

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The thirst for water and an exploding population are putting enormous strains on our freshwater supplies, even in areas that have rarely experienced shortages. It is said that water will become the greatest infrastructure challenge to our entire nation in the relative near future. Rainwater collection is an excellent solution for alternative water supplies. The International Code Council and the American Rainwater Catchment Association are teaming up to ensure that the building industry embraces this excellent and free water source.

The International Code Council has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA), building on its emphasis on green construction in the Public Version 1.0 of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC). The MOU calls for both organizations to use their knowledge and expertise to advance and promote the safe and effective design and implementation of rainwater catchment systems.

ARCSA contributed significant time and expertise to the development of the Rainwater Collection and Distribution Systems section of the IGCC, drawing from their well-established Rainwater Catchment Design and Installation Standards guideline document. This is a very solid base both organizations will leverage to advance rainwater catchment systems in an ever-improving effort to use alternative water sources to preserve freshwater supplies.

As freshwater supplies become strained in more and more regions, rainwater collection is gaining increased attention as a source of free, high-quality water. Several states, including Georgia, Oregon, and Virginia have published code addenda addressing rainwater systems. Many other states are studying the issue. ARCSA is working to educate system designers and installers to ensure that these new systems are effective and durable.

“Since our founding in 1994, ARCSA has been devoted exclusively to the promotion, education and support of rainwater catchment systems,” added E.W. Bob Boulware, ARCSA’s President. “Our organization was well ahead of the conservation trend that is sweeping the entire building industry. We believe this new partnership with the ICC will facilitate exponential growth of rainwater catchment systems across the country and around the world.”

This collaboration will identify and promote new and existing sustainability opportunities and services, supporting cooperative standards and codes development that will benefit the industry. In fact, the Code Council has already filed project notifications with the American Standards National Institute (ANSI) to develop new standards for two unique components of rainwater systems: pre-filters (also known as debris excluders) and roof washers (also known as first-flush diverters). The proposed standards will be developed collaboratively with ARCSA and possibly other partners. These two components currently lack basic product standards in North America, limiting their acceptance in codes.

“As freshwater becomes scarcer in the coming years, rainwater harvest will become an ever more critical alternative water source,” said Code Council CEO, Rick Weiland. “The building industry is again taking the lead by embracing this effective means of water capture. The Code Council is proud to be partnering with organizations like ARCSA and playing such a prominent role in helping the industry to implement innovative sustainable applications.”

“Capturing rainwater, not only positively impacts plumbing systems, but also dramatically offsets issues related to storm water control,” added Jay Peters, ICC PMG Group’s Executive Director. “ARCSA is the leader in rainwater catchment in the United States, and we’re very excited to be partnering with them to advance this important field.”

ICC and ARCSA will also develop products and services for their members and the industry, support initiatives that advance global safe water, and cross promote select educational offerings and products and services of each organization. The agreement also calls for initiatives related to chapter resources, technical initiatives, committees and councils to increase and improve the level of education, communication and overall value for ARCSA and ICC members.

For more information regarding this MOU or the Code Council’s PMG codes and related products and services, contact the PMG Group Resource Center at 1-888-ICC-SAFE, x4PMG.

The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1994 by Dr. Hari J. Krishna in Austin, Texas, to promote rainwater catchment systems in the United States. The memberships consists of professionals working in city, state, and federal government, academia, manufacturers and suppliers of rainwater harvesting equipment, consultants, and other interested individuals. The Mission of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association is to promote sustainable rainwater-harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world. Today, over 750 people from around the world are ARCSA members, and ARCSA has offered many exceptional educational opportunities such as rainwater harvesting seminars, accreditation workshops and conferences featuring some of the leading professionals in the field. Contact ARCSA for additional information at 512-617-6528 or visit http://www.arcsa.org.

The International Code Council (ICC) publishes building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency codes that are used in the construction of residential and commercial buildings. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the I-Codes based on their outstanding quality. The ICC’s Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas (PMG) Group is devoted exclusively to providing PMG products and support to jurisdictions and construction industry professionals across the country and around the globe, with one or more PMG code adopted in 49 states. The more than 200 superior products and related services were developed specifically by and for plumbing and mechanical professionals. Contact the PMG Group for additional information at 1-888-ICC-SAFE, x4PMG or visit http://www.iccsafe.org.

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Jay Peters
International Code Council
1-888-422-7233 ext. 4PMG
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