LETTER- Hurry up with rainwater regs

We commend The Hook for the excellent and timely article, "Rainwater harvesting: Catchment comes with a catch". 

The Rivanna River Basin Commission has been encouraging rainwater harvesting as a way to slow the water running off roofs directly to area streams and as a common-sense approach to water conservation through reuse.

The Commission has developed a recommended set of stormwater "best management practices" for our watershed localities that include rainwater harvesting– and the Commission has been encouraging the Virginia Department of Health to follow through with the mandate of the Code of Virginia [§ 32.1-248.2. Use of rainwater and reuse of gray water] that requires guidelines to be developed so that building inspectors, like Mr. Schlothauer, will be able to approve rainwater harvesting for applications like the commercial laundromat in the story.   

Unfortunately, those guidelines have been very slow in coming– too slow for those who wish to do their part in water conservation and reuse by implementing rainwater harvesting.

The Commission is working with the Thomas Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation District, which was an ardent proponent of rainwater harvesting long before rain barrels became common household objects. We've drafted a letter to Governor Time Kaine urging that he facilitate resolution of this matter, and we're inviting local and state groups to join us as signatories to the letter.  We invite your readers to send the same message to the Governor.

Leslie Middleton, Executive Director
Rivanna River Basin Commission