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What are the ARCSA Educational courses?

ARCSA offers a variety of instructional courses focused on strategies to manage our rainfall through a series of educational courses. These educational courses target individuals who have an interest in conserving rainfall and learning best practices in the field of rainwater harvesting, as well as industry professionals desiring in-depth training in industry techniques and practices.

In the past few years, rainwater catchment has become a popular and sometimes necessary way to augment water supplies to solve challenges in the use or need to acquire potable and non-potable water. In addition, promoting the use of harvested rainwater allows us to maximize our energy resources and deploy another technique in managing storm water.

ARCSA believes the general public and professionals need a mechanism to learn the multitude of strategies and practices to manage rainwater, evaluate industry professionals in their expertise in providing services to the public and to promote awareness in our communities to the benefits of rainwater harvesting.

ARCSA Education courses are structured into three levels to meet the needs of our students:
* Our "Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting," is geared to those who are new to the concept of rainfall capture for use in non-potable applications such as landscape irrigation.
* Our Accredited Professional (AP) "Rainwater Harvesting Accreditation" course is designed for industry professionals or for those individuals desiring to pursue a career in rainwater management. The completion of the AP course is a requirement for attaining accreditation as an ARCSA Accredited Professional.
* ARCSA offers an Inspector Specialist course. The IP courses provide training on topics including but not limited to piping and design standards; friction calculations; commercial installation planning and construction; pumps and controls; sanitation; water issues and ecology and practical application in constructing a rainwater catchment system.
* Our Rainwater Harvesting Design and Construction workshop (RWHDC) are open to the public, or any industry professional looking to learn more about rainwater harvesting, and is a requirement for anyone seeking designation as an Accredited Professional. The RWHDC workshops are two-day courses designed to give attendees a chance to put their knowledge into practice in designing and constructing an active rainwater collection system.
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What topics are covered in ARCSA's Education courses and when are they held?

The following course descriptions represent ARCSA's current offering of educational courses in rainwater management.
* Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting Course. Provides an overview of rainwater harvesting, history, uses and applicability to conserving rainfall as a natural resource. Concepts and techniques are introduced on harvesting rain for non-potable uses such as landscape irrigation and wildlife management. Demonstrations are conducted to reinforce the concepts learned through rainfall simulations and the use of a simple rainfall harvesting system. You can view the agenda here.

* Accredited Professional (AP). Topics covered include basics of rainwater catchment design and installation, in-home rainwater use; sanitation for potable uses; rules and regulations, guidelines and restrictions; business management; project planning; site and installation safety; and system construction and maintenance. You can view the agenda here.

* Inspector Specialist. This course provide training on topics including but not limited to piping and design standards; friction calculations; commercial installation planning and construction; pumps and controls; sanitation; water issues and ecology and practical application in constructing a rainwater catchment system. You can view a sample agenda here.

Education courses are held around the country, and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations are encouraged to sponsor ARCSA Education courses. These courses are scheduled as sponsors are identified in a particular location.
An ARCSA Accredited Professional (AP) is a member of ARCSA who has obtained a minimum level of competency and general knowledge in rainwater management techniques and theory, has attended an ARCSA-endorsed AP workshop and fulfilled the other requirements to become an AP. The ARCSA Accredited Professional has documented their knowledge and experiences and has been accepted by ARCSA as an Accredited Professional. Please be aware that an Accredited Professional is an individual, not an organization.

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How does someone become an Accredited Professional?

To become an, an individual must:
  • ARCSA membership
  • Two Day AP workshop $395
  • Complete 5 systems before receiving AP (until 5 systems - Accredited Associate)
  • Passing score on the AP exam - $150 application and testing fee
  • Acquire at least 4 CEUs annually - Annual administrative fee - $25
  • Applications will be reviewed and approved by a committee of ARCSA Accredited Professionals.

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    What are the benefits of being accredited by ARCSA?
Accredited Professionals will receive a certificate and be recognized on the ARCSA website. The designation is a sign to an Accredited Professional's clients and the general public that they are committed to excellence and continuing their education in the field of rainwater management.
In order to maintain their status, Accredited Professionals must maintain their ARCSA membership, annually complete and document two hours of Continuing Education related to rainwater harvesting, and renew their accreditation status with a $25 administrative fee. The annual Continuing Education documentation can be accomplished through the ARCSA Store link. Professionals who fail to maintain their status may not continue to promote themselves as ARCSA Accredited Professionals. Accredited status can be reinstated upon fulfillment of the requirements, as approved by the committee.
The CA and AP courses are open to the general public. There are not any prerequisites to attend either course. It is highly recommended that an individual without any prior knowledge or experience in rainwater harvesting attend the Level 100 course, Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting, prior to attending the Rainwater Harvesting Accreditation course (AP). Participants do not need to be actively pursuing accreditation in order to attend the AP course.

IS classroom workshops are open to anyone with an interest in the subject matter. Attainment of Accredited Professional (AP) status will be required prior to consideration for Certified Professional (CP) status. Accredited Professionals are encouraged to attend regardless of their intent to pursue CP status.

RWHDC workshops are also open to anyone with an interest, but attendees are encouraged to be knowledgeable about rainwater harvesting.
Preparation is not required to attend the ARCSA Education courses. Relevant handouts will be provided to attendees on the day of the course. For the written exam, it is suggested that accreditation applicants use the Texas AgriLife Extension's Rainwater Harvesting and Installation manuals as a reference, along with other materials as identified by ARCSA. A list of other references can be found here. The course and the accreditation exam are separate activities. Participants will not be taking the accreditation exam during the AP course. The exam will be sent to applicant once their application is accepted for the accreditation course and upon completion of the AP.
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What are the course fees?

Registrants may choose to register in one of the following courses:
* Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting (One Day Only): $75, per person
* AP - Accredited Professional (Two Days): $395, per person
* IS - Inspector Specialist (Two Days): $395, per person
All fees are payable to ARCSA; ARCSA will handle registrations and accept all registration fees.

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ARCSA lists current and expired credentials for Accredited Professional ARCSA members. Please see the list posted at this page or contact to see if the member is an AP.
An organization desiring to sponsor an ARCSA Education Course should contact ARCSA and identify your organization, your preferred location and desired dates. Courses must be scheduled through ARCSA and dates determined as schedules allow. Please send any inquiries to You may view more details about sponsoring an ARCSA Education Course by clicking here.

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