Saturday, September 30, 2023
September 30, 2023

Rainwater harvest and management course offered

Ken Nentwig has worked on the ground in the rainwater harvesting and management industry for years, and is eager to share his knowledge with islanders.

“I’m just back from California, training rainwater practitioners for their ASSE certification exams as designers and installers,” he said last week. “Everywhere you look, water is the topic — either not enough, or suddenly too much of it.”

And while B.C.’s coast obviously receives a lot of rainfall, he said, “gardening is hampered in summer with drought conditions and many areas are seeing aquifer problems due to oversubscription of the available ground water. Rainwater harvesting can be one tool that helps mitigate water shortages being experienced across southwest B.C. and across the globe.”

Beginning Sept. 11, Nentwig is leading a three-month online Rainwater Harvesting and Management course. Offered through Gaia College, it has been in place for several years and offers an overview of water problems, rainwater system design and how-to’s for the homeowner and do-it-yourselfer.

“Understanding nature’s manner of sending and managing water in the environment is key to us being able to work within those parameters for safe, efficient and suitable applications of the abundant winter rainfall we receive on the B.C. West Coast. Builders, developers and approvers all can benefit from the knowledge available through this course.”

Nentwig has worked on numerous projects on the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island in recent years.

Most are preliminary designs, he said, covering the feasibility and sizing of storage and components for systems. Applications range from irrigation to flushing to full potable usage, and even a few for multiple-family applications. Stormwater management aspects are sometimes a part of the overall concepts, where excess runoff from a roof or the ground surface can be infiltrated into the soil. Installations in these areas have included potable use for a cottage, fire suppression storage, and irrigation storage outdoors or in the crawl space below the residence.

He has also worked with the technical working group of the Salt Spring Island Watershed Protection Alliance.

Nentwig’s background is landscape architecture, and he is certified through American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) 21000 as a rainwater harvesting practitioner.

“I am also deeply involved in the ASSE and American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association training program evolution, and have developed a Canadian certification program through the Canadian Association of Rainwater Management based on the CSA Rainwater Standard.”

For more information about the Gaia Rainwater Harvesting and Management course, see


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