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News Release
October 7, 2008
CONTACT: Robyn Hadley 512-477-5445

AUSTIN, TX — The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA), a non-profit organization with more than 500 members across the nation, has named five winners of the first annual “Recognition of Excellence Awards.”

Members and non-members of the association were allowed to vote through an online survey. Award winners were revealed at the association’s national conference last month in Santa Monica, California.

ARCSA president Tim Pope said, “These award winners reflect the enthusiasm we see for rainwater harvesting across the county. More and more cities, schools, businesses, and homeowners are embracing rainwater catchment because it’s easy, affordable, and recognized by most green building programs as a logical way to conserve water.”

Receiving the “Personal Recognition Award” was Brad Lancaster of Tucson, Arizona. Lancaster is the author of two popular books on rainwater harvesting, and has become one of the nation’s most well-known speakers on the topic of developing home sites that will contain water instead of sending it down storm sewers. Pope said, “His home demonstration site has inspired thousands to live more sustainably.”

The “Educator of the Year Award” went to Billy Kniffen of Menard, Texas. As a Texas AgriLife Extension Agent for Texas A&M University, Kniffen travels the country conducting workshops on the basics of rainwater harvesting. Known far and wide as an engaging teacher, Kniffen doesn’t just “talk the talk.” He and his wife live entirely on rainwater at their Hill Country home. In handing out the award, Pope said, “Billy has done more than anyone in America to promote rainwater harvesting.”

The award for “Manufacturer of Most Innovative Product” was given to RainHarvesting Pty, Ltd. of Australia. According to voters, RainHarvesting has created many “cool” products that “enable wide-spread adoption of rainwater harvesting.” RainHarvesting products sold in the United States include: LeafEater® and LeafBeater™ downspouts that keep large debris from entering water tanks; First Flush Water Diverters™ that prevent the first flow of water off a rooftop from going into a tank; a wireless water monitoring device called RainAlert™ and a water level indicator called TankGauge™; and stainless steel gutter filters that do not rust. Jason Kerrigan, the Director of International Business Development for RainHarvesting says, “Australia is one of the driest continents on earth. We learned long ago that rainwater harvesting is critical to our survival.”

The best “Public Display Award” was given to Seattle Public Utilities for its SEA Street Project. SEA stands for Street Edge Alternative. Located in northwest Seattle, the SEA Street Project incorporated natural drainage systems and rainwater catchment into the reconstruction of a residential street, directing storm water runoff into landscaped areas where it could percolate back into the ground. Not only did SEA Street reduce the amount of pollutants reaching downstream creeks, the new curves in the road slowed traffic and made it safer for residents, and the new plants created year-round visual beauty while shading homes during hotter summer months.

Finally, the “Company of the Year” Award was given to AB Pacific, a company based on the big island of Hawaii that services and maintains pools, spas, and rainwater catchment systems. Hawaii has a large number of residents who harvest rain for all of their water needs, including domestic supply, agriculture, and commercial use. Customers of AB Pacific say, “The employees of this company go way beyond any contract agreement. They treat you like family and attempt to prevent problems before they can occur

ARCSA will announce award winners for 2009 at its national conference in Atlanta, Georgia

For more information on ARCSA, visit www.ARCSA.org.



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