Ruby Alton is a demonstration house now rented to tenants. Special tours can be arranged through the Islands Conservancy by calling 250.405.5186. The park contains a single family house designed for four people. The rainwater filtration system was built in 2005.

Rainwater Management Techniques Used

Rainwater Harvesting/Reuse

ruby-alton 220x136A polypropylene lined steel cistern, with nominal capacity of 27,200 litres, measuring 14 1/2' x 6', stores rooftop water to augment stream source water. From a surge/pump tank the water goes through a Bio Sand filter, a 1 micron filter and rural standard Ultraviolet light disinfection system. Two rain barrels with automatic drip watering system irrigate a small garden. The cistern is near the house, with barrels on outside walls. Control systems and disinfection are mostly located inside the house.

The 180 meters square catchment area diverts an estimated 141,000 litres. This provides for 60% of the household needs for four people. Debris filters can handle 100 year storm flow from the roof.

Both groundwater and freshwater quality and quantity problems are becoming more common on many of the Gulf Islands. Climate change is expected to make the problems worse, and thus rainwater harvesting and reuse demonstration is important to help residents gain useful knowledge of these techniques.

Cost & Funding

$50,000, which included interpretation signage, reporting and duplicate demonstration systems. The project was funded by VanCity/Real Estate Foundation of BC, CRD, Victoria Foundation, Rainwater Connection, Salt Spring Island Foundation, and local materials suppliers.

Project Team

Rainwater Connection, Thetis Island, System Designer
AAE Structural Ltd, Duncan, Structural Engineer
Tiger Purification Systems Inc. 

For further information on this project contact the Islands Trust.


661 Isabella Point Road
Salt Spring Island, BC