The New North American Rainwater Harvesting Systems Standard

April 16, 2019

A new rainwater harvesting standard has been published by the International Code Council and CSA Group, the CSA B805-18/ICC 805-2018 Rainwater Harvesting System standard for use in the U.S. and Canada.  Developed by an 18-person technical committee made up of equal number of Canadian and U.S. representatives, the standard provides a comprehensive guide to designing a complete rainwater harvesting system from material considerations to storage, conveyance, treatment according to end use categories and post installation assessment.

Before 2018, rainwater guidelines and standards offered only general guidance on water treatment and system design requirements.  As a result, designs with the same type of end use and source water quality varied drastically from project to project and from region to region. A harmonized design approach simply did not exist.

Why is it important to the industry?

This standard is important to the low impact development and rainwater harvesting industry because it offers comprehensive design guidance which can be applied to North America.  Developed with both the U.S. and Canadian perspective in mind, the standard pushes designers to approach design from the thousand-foot view before drilling into detailed design.

The Standard also requires the use of a Water Safety Plan (WSP). Using a WSP to develop a design ensures that the rainwater harvesting system is designed to treat the water for its intended use and meet long term operational and maintenance requirements. This new standard provides an opportunity to align rainwater harvesting standard from region to region and on both sides of the border.

When it comes to water treatment, there is no one size fits all treatment solution.   CSA B-805-18/ ICC 805-2018 pushes designers to assess the site on a macro and micro level before arriving at a solution.  Two critical questions the standard wants the designer to address are “What is likely to be in the water given the location and collection system?” and “How do I need to treat the water so that it is fit for my application?”

Net Zero Water specializes in designing rainwater harvesting systems for institutional, commercial and industrial applications.  Our packaged rainwater harvesting systems are designed with source water quality and in intended end use in mind.  On your next project, contact Net Zero Water and allow us to guide you through designing a system that meets the CSA B-805/ICC 805 standard. Read the full press release here.

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