The Art and Science of Harvesting Rain
Gabriola has been dubbed “Isle of the Arts” and “Petroglyph Island”, but cisterns are also highly visible features and facts of life. Beside virtually every house – or built into foundations – is storage for collecting and harvesting rainwater.
This Island is also home to the unique, proven cistern-cleaning technology and methodology, enabling homeowners to match the quality of any water available, including public municipal systems and ever-present, non-biodegradable bottled water.
Geoffrey Montgomery-Swan, co-owner of Environmental Cistern Cleaning Inc. (ECCI) reports: “We’ve saved almost 60 million litres of water, the equivalent of 120 million half-liter drinking bottles.”
He developed the proprietary AquaSave PlusTM technology which features: environmental safety with no chemicals or cleaning agents, and no need to empty or enter cisterns, now illegal without major health and safety precautions. Inside and out, floor, walls and all, cisterns are thoroughly scrubbed by underwater vacuum, utilizing minimal water, in a short time period, with the cost-saving advantage of requiring no re-fill.
This is the only region in the country where rain harvesting has been approved as a source of potable water and Health Canada recommends cistern cleaning and disinfecting annually.
“If water cisterns were made of see-through material, people would be shocked by what they could then see. Bird poop from roofs, other airborne contaminants, pine needles, tree sap, general roof dirt, and all sorts of debris, including critters and other small animals which have worked their way into our water,” notes Montgomery-Swan, who adds: “there may also be build-ups of iron, manganese, clay/rock flour which need to be removed for other systems like UV to work efficiently and safely. Only when E Coli and Total Coliforms are physically removed by Environmental Cistern Cleaning Inc. and the cistern disinfected can confidence return.”
Among ECCI now highly confident and satisfied clients are: Canada Coast Guard, Parks Canada, RCMP, beverage companies, B&B’s, resorts, First Nations and individuals from more and more cistern-dependent communities.