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New technologies make conserving rain water easier

'Green' open house Saturday, Feb. 28, in Loomis
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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Don’t let recent rains fool you. A drought is still affecting California. When the rains do stop, Loomis residents Mark and Janet Thew will have plenty of water to wash their dogs or cars or water their plants. The water will come from a rain-collection system recently installed on the Thews’ home by Robert Lenney of Rain Harvesting Systems. Lenney calculated that the roof on the Thew home can collect more than 8,000 gallons of rain in a year. There was only space to install the 1,000-gallon tank, which Lenney said can cost between $4,000 and $6,000. To Janet Thew, making use of that rain was an easy decision to make. “We chose to add as many environmentally sustainable practices to our lives as possible, and rain capture is a no-brainer. Water supplies will only get tighter in California,” she said. Lenney has found that rain collection is becoming more popular because of the drought. “In states where rain has been a scarcity, rain collection is one of the top conservation methods,” Lenney said. He’s hopeful local water agencies will add added rain collection as a viable method of water conservation to their Web sites. A key component of the Rain Harvesting System is the Gutterglove Gutterguard, which Lenney also installed on the Thews’ entire gutter system. It filters out leaves, pine needles and sand from the gutters and the rain tank. The public can check out the Thews’ system and learn about roofing, solar and other renewable energy products at a “green-day” open house to take place from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Feb. 28. The Thew home is located at 5572 St. Francis Circle, off of Rocklin Road, in Loomis. Refreshments will also be served. In addition to Lenney’s Rain Harvesting System and Gutterglove Gutterguard, the open house is sponsored by ES Electrical, a company that focuses on renewable energy systems such as solar and hydro-electric; and Cal Vintage Roofing, a “green” roofing company that offers a variety of “cool” roof products that slow heat build-up to make a home more energy efficient. Tony Tomeo of AskTonyTheGardener.com will be on hand to discuss sustainable gardening and landscaping, specifically the use of drought tolerant plants. Also on display will be a ZAP Xebra electric car, a three-wheeler “green” vehicle for zero-emission transportation.