ICC signs MOU with rainwater group

WASHINGTON — The International Code Council has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association, building on its emphasis on green construction in the Public Version 1.0 of the International Green Construction Code. 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 its well established Rainwater Catchment Design and Installation Standards guideline document. Both organizations will work to advance rainwater catchment systems in an effort to use alternative water sources to preserve freshwater supplies.

As freshwater supplies become strained in 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,” said 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.”

The collaboration will identify and promote new and existing sustainability opportunities and services, supporting cooperative standards and codes development that will benefit the industry. The ICC has already filed project notifications with the American Standards National Institute 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 ICC 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.
Additional information is available from the PMG Group Resource Center at 888/ICC-SAFE, ext. 4PMG or [email protected]

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 U.S. The membership 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. More than 750 people from around the world are ARCSA members. Additional information is available from [email protected] or at www.arcsa.org.