Better Water | Better Horsekeeping

Overview of District Services

Find out how the Snohomish Conservation District helps landowners throughout Snohomish County and on Camano Island.

Better Water


How to Build: Multi-Barrel Rain Water Collection System

How to add rain barrels to your rainwater collection system.

Original video on how to build a single barrel system is located here:

Parts List:

  • ¾ x 1-3/8″ (close) sch. 80 threaded nipple – One (1) total
  • ¾” 90 deg. PVC Sch. 40 Street Elbow (threaded male x slip female) – Two (2) total
  • ¾” PVC Sch. 40 Tee (slip x slip x threaded) – One (1) total
  • ¾” PVC pipe – One (1) 10′ stick
  • Silicon Pipe Glue
  • PVC Pipe Cement

Tools List:

  • Electric Drill
  • 7/8″ spade bit for drill
  • 3/4″ 14 NPT Pipe Tap
  • Crescent wrench

How to Build: A Rain Barrel

Guide on how to construct a rain barrel from a 55 gallon food grade barrel.

Video on how to add barrels to your system located here:

Parts List:

  • 55-Gallon food grade barrel
  • ¾ x 1-3/8″ (close) sch. 80 threaded nipple – One (1) total
  • ¾” PVC Sch. 40 female in-line ball valve (threaded on both ends) – One (1) total
  • ¾” 90 deg. PVC Sch. 40 Street Elbow (male x female thread) – One (1) total
  • ¾” brass pipe thread x garden hose adapter (3/4″ MH x ¾” MIP, tapped ½” FIP) – Two (2) total
  • #6 ½” Sheet Metal Screws – Six (6) total
  • 1/8 x ¾ Fender Washers — Six (6) total
  • 6″ square piece of gutter screen – One (1) total
  • Silicon Pipe Glue

Tools List:

  • Electric Drill
  • 4″ hole saw for drill
  • 7/8″ spade bit for drill
  • 3/4″ 14 NPT Pipe Tap
  • Crescent wrench
  • Tin snips

Rain Water Collection Cistern Examples in Puget Sound

Three examples of local rain water collection in Snohomish County and Camano Island. Large volume, above ground rain water collection systems store runoff from homeowners houses for future irrigation use. Some of the systems have gravity flow and some use a pump.

Bill Lider Talks Permeable Pavement


Planting Our Way to Healthy Streams

Find out how you can protect and improve the health of your stream in this 10-minute video, featuring the SCD Habitat Group and four streamside landowners. Learn how planting along your stream can help filter pollutants, provide valuable habitat for fish and wildlife, and protect you from property loss due to streambank erosion.

Better Horsekeeping


SARE Video

In 2011, the Snohomish Conservation District received a grant from the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program to work with seven commercial equine facilities in Snohomish County to trial the use of compost as horse stall bedding. We partnered with O2 Compost to provide the micro-bin compost systems and the technical expertise for this project.

Learn more about our composted horse bedding project here.

Horse Health

This four-minute video gives a brief overview of the effects of mud on hoof health, manure management for parasite control and the link between grazing management and sugar in a horse’s diet.

Composting Manure

In this 7-minute video you’ll learn the basics of composting, common challenges and solutions, and how to put your compost to use once it’s finished. This video features farm planners Alan Shank and Caitlin Price-Youngquist from the Snohomish Conservation District.

Building a Manure Compost Bin

This three-minute video is a companion to our Composting Manure video and provides more detail on building compost bins and composting systems.

Soil Testing

Whether you’re growing a lawn in the suburbs, a pasture for your horses or a garden in your back yard, a soil test is the first step in understanding what amendments your soil actually needs. Snohomish Conservation District Resource Planner, Leif Fixen, will guide you through the process of taking soil samples and help you understand what the test will tell you about your soil.

Winter Paddocks

Solve mud problems and protect pastures by creating a winter paddock for your horses. In this video you’ll learn the essential steps in building a paddock, choosing the right site, sizing it for your horses and keeping it dry.
This 6-minute video features farm planner, Brett de Vries and engineer, Kelly Cahill from the Snohomish Conservation District.

Featured Cooperator: Clo Shapiro, Liberty Bell Farms

Learn how this stable keeps their 14-horse, 10-acre facility free of mud and how using an aerated compost system helps reduce the volume of manure they need to handle.

Pasture Management

Learn how to get the most out of your pastures! This eight-minute video features Bobbi Lindemulder from Snohomish Conservation District and Clo Shapiro, Manager of Liberty Bell Farms. Get an overview on managing grass height, controlling weeds, liming, rotational grazing, mowing and dragging.

Swallows & Bats

Interested in natural insect control? In this four-minute video, Snohomish Conservation District Farm Planner, Alan Shank, talks about the benefits of violet-green swallows, barn swallows and bats and how to attract them to your horse property.

Featured Cooperator: Jenny Luciana, Half-Trak Farm

Find out how Half-Trak Farm partnered with the Snohomish Conservation District to build a new compost bin for their stable.

Featured Cooperator: Dorothy Aalseth & Earl Aalseth, DVM

The Aalseth’s both have an extensive veterinary background and their knowledge brings a unique perspective to the management of their horse property. Hear about their experiences with hogfuel versus gravel footing, french drains for mud control, and how they manage grazing for their horses.

Featured Cooperator: Shannon Finch, Black Dog Ranch

Hear from landowner Shannon Finch about working with Snohomish Conservation District to install compost bins, confinement areas, fencing and complete a pond restoration project.