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Educational & Accreditation Programs


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Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting

ARCSA’s Initial Course "Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting”is designed to educate professionals, regulators, decision makers, business and home owners, and other individuals interested in the process of planning and constructing an effective, safe rainwater collection system that meets the needs of the client.


This one-day, 6 -7 hour course provides an overview of rainwater harvesting and its uses and applicability to conserving rainfall as a natural resource. Participants will be introduced to the concepts and techniques for harvesting rain passively in rain gardens, green roofs and proper landscape design, as well as the use of more complex active systems using a catchment container. Course content covers the design and installation of catchment systems from the roof to the faucet, with discussion on optional uses—both outdoors and indoors, potable and non-potable—of this precious resource.


Prerequisite: None

Cost: $75 per person


Required CEUs: None. Participation does not count toward ARCSA’s professional certification programs; however, other professional organizations may consider the workshop for CEU credits.

Click here for a schedule of workshops.



Accredited Professional (AP) Program

This program is designed to recognize professionals in the industry who have achieved an advanced level of competence in designing and installing rainwater harvesting systems. Individuals who do not have the experience required to be an "Accredited Professional” will be assigned the title "Accredited Associate” until they submit information on five (5) systems they have designed and/or installed before being upgraded to "ACCREDITED Professional”.


Out of the 5 systems one can be a rainbarrel, one can be the ARCSA D&C Workshop, and at least one system has to have a pump. A rain garden does count as one system provided the roof area, soil type, and garden size is submitted along with appropriate calculations for determining the size. Three (3) systems must meet the ARCSA/ASPE/ANSI 63-2013 Standard; it is up to the applicant to state how the system meets the Standard. ARCSA’s Accredited Professional Workshop is open to the public and any industry professional pursuing greater understanding of rainwater harvesting. The workshop is required for those seeking ARCSA AP designation.


This two-day course provides an in-depth review of rainwater harvesting design and installation; outdoor and in-home rainwater use; sanitation for potable uses; rules, regulations, guidelines and restrictions; business management; project planning; site and installation safety; and system construction and maintenance.

None to take the workshop. To receive the AP recognition the following are required:

  1. ARCSA Membership
  2. Completion of the two-day AP Workshop
  3. Application and Testing Fee
  4. Participation in the design and/or construction of five (5) rainwater harvesting systems
  5. Completion of and a 70% passing score on the 100 question AP test

Workshop Cost: $395 per person
Application and Testing Fee for AP: $150 per person
Required CEUs: To continue receiving this designation an AP must maintain ARCSA Membership and submit 4 CEUs annually with a $25 administration fee.

Please note that the course duration and outline may vary slightly between workshops.

ARCSA’s "Design and Construction” Workshop

This workshop is a requirement for the Rainwater Harvesting Master designation or Inspection Specialist designation. Individuals seeking the "Accredited Professional” (AP) designation are also encouraged to attend,but it is not a requirement to be an AP. The workshop is open to all individualsinterested in improving their design and construction skills.


The two- to three-day workshop will assist designers and construction workers in installing safe, effective, and efficient rainwater collection systems that meet the goals and needs of the client. Instruction is mostly in the field, with minimal classroom time.

The course outline includes:

  • Design and site plans, bids, and contracts
  • Calculating size, friction, and volume needed to achieve goals
  • Constructing an effective above ground systems as a team—from the gutter through the tank and pump for the desired usage
  • System components including downspouts, wet and dry systems, air-gap, back flow prevention, first flush, calming inlet, adding make-up water, connections, and pumps
  • Systems constructed for outdoor and indoor non-potable uses

Prerequisite: None to take the workshop. However, it is recommended the AP workshop has been completed. This workshop will count as one system toward the five systems required for the AP recognition.
Workshop Cost: $395 per person
No Testing
No Required CEUs


Inspection Specialist (IS) Program

This is an advanced rainwater harvesting specialized course open to the public or any industry professional. This 5-6 hour workshop is designed to give attendees the tools needed to make rainwater harvesting system inspections. Participants will review parts of rainwater harvesting system, study how to develop an initial assessment of the system, fill out an inspection checklist while making the initial visual inspection of a system and making follow-up inspections.


The workshop will additionally go over a checklist that evaluates a system from sizing, condition, and function from roof to end use. Students will learn how to review codes and work with system owners/managers to insure proper function and maintenance of a system.

Completion of ARCSA’s Accredited Professional workshop and Design Construction Workshop is recommended as a pre-requisite to this course, as it provides in-depth instruction on the calculations, material and specific parts that will be inspected in this workshop. To receive the IS recognition the following are required:

  1. ARCSA Membership
  2. Recognition as a current ARCSA Accredited Professional or ARCSA Rainwater Harvesting Master and have completed the ARCSA Design Construction Workshop
  3. Completion of the 5-6 hour IS Workshop
  4. Application and Testing Fee
  5. Completion of and a 70% passing score on the 50 question IS test

Workshop Cost: $195 per person
Application and Testing Fee for IS: $50 per person
Required CEUs: To continue receiving this designation an IS must maintain ARCSA membership and submit 2 CEUs annually with a $25 administration fee. Retesting/Recertification required every 3 years.

Please note that the course duration and outline may vary slightly between workshops.


If you would like a workshop in your area, and if you think there is enough interest please contact Tim Pope 360-317-4192
Passing the ARCSA exams indicates that you have demonstrated knowledge and skills deemed important by the rainwater harvesting community at a given point in time and at a given level of education. It is not a form of licensure, and is not an indication of professional competency in the field. Much of the information contained in this manual is based on techniques and best practices developed by nationally and internationally recognized associations and are published for use in the ARCSA Training and Certification Programs. ARCSA disclaims all liability for the use, application or adaptation of the information contained in this manual.
The Mission of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association is to promote sustainable rainwater-harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, storm water and energy Challenges throughout the world.
more Calendar

5/2/2018 » 5/3/2018
ARCSA: 2-Day Rainwater Harvesting Workshop, 5/2-5/3/17. Santa Fe, NM

9/28/2018 » 10/2/2018
2018 Annual Conference

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