09-01-15 | Association News
Stormwater Harvesting Standard
Receives ANSI Approval

Joint ARCSA/ASPE Standard


ARCSA, the association that promotes sustainable rainwater harvesting practices, has a new stormwater harvesting standard approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) and the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) are pleased to announce that ARCSA/ASPE/ANSI 78-2015: Stormwater Harvesting System Design for Direct End-Use Applications was approved as an American National Standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Jointly developed by ASPE and ARCSA, ARCSA/ASPE/ANSI 78-2015 provides guidance on how to install and maintain a safe alternative to utility-provided water, and to optimize stormwater utilization to reduce dependence on municipal potable water systems. Use of the standard will ensure that consumers are not at risk from poor design, installation, maintenance or illegal work, and that the stormwater catchment system will assist in maintaining and enhancing the quality of the environment while assisting compliance with the intent of relevant regulations and government officials.

"This document completes the efforts of our group to develop detailed and specific standards for onsite and offsite, where applicable, stormwater harvesting for beneficial purposes," says Neal Shapiro, CPSWQ, CSM, ENV SP, Chair of the 78 Working Group. "Whether one's area is in a drought or not, whether it rains year-round or for only a few days, this low-impact development strategy of green infrastructure is a sustainable approach with numerous quantifiable benefits to the property owner, municipality, and the environment. It can make a positive difference."

ARCSA/ASPE/ANSI 78-2015 went through an extensive development process using ASPE's ANSI-accredited standards development procedures to incorporate input from all facets of the building design and related industries. The Working Group, headed by Shapiro, Supervisor of the Watershed Section for the City of Santa Monica, Calif., Office of Sustainability and the Environment, spent countless hours fine-tuning the standard based on public comments to ensure that the standard meets current industry and government regulations.

"It was a wonderful experience and honor to work with my professional colleagues on the Working Group, who offered wise counseling and guidance to reach our goal," Shapiro says. "It was a team effort of the most rewarding kind. The caliber of my colleagues was on the highest order. I thank them for allowing me to oversee this wonderful experience and bring to fruition this much-needed standard."

"ARCSA/ASPE/ANSI 78 is the result of an outstanding job by our collaborative industry partners as well as individuals who were willing to come together in a unified effort to continue advancing the abilities of our industry to the betterment of water reuse while maintaining and protecting our life-sustaining water resources," says William "Billy" Smith, FASPE, ASPE's Executive Director/CEO. "I congratulate them on a great job by all involved."

ARCSA/ASPE/ANSI 78-2015 is the second collaborative standards development project between ASPE and ARCSA. This latest standard is intended to continue where the first standard (ARCSA/ASPE/ANSI 63-2013: Rainwater Catchment Systems) left off in terms of collection surface. This standard will be available for purchase in the ARCSA online store soon.

For more information on ASPE, visit For more information on ARCSA, visit

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