RainWise returns! See if this is your chance to wade in

(RainWise photo: Fauntleroy Schoolhouse rain garden)

Got room for a rain garden? A site for a cistern? You might be eligible for RainWise rebates to help you get them, depending on where you live, because they’re returning to some West Seattle neighborhoods. Here are the details sent to us to share with you:

RainWise, a partnership between King County Wastewater Treatment Division and Seattle Public Utilities, has a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

The West Seattle neighborhoods around Sunrise Heights, Westwood, Fauntleroy, and Arbor Heights are eligible for RainWise rebates – again!

In 2013, King County joined the RainWise program, and parts of West Seattle became eligible for rebates that pay for rain gardens and cisterns on private properties. By capturing the rain that falls on roofs, these installations help keep stormwater out of the sewer system and prevent overflows at the Barton Pump Station near the Fauntleroy ferry dock. After five years in the program, almost 150 properties put in rain gardens and cisterns that manage the equivalent of rain falling on five acres of roofs. In addition, 15 blocks of highly engineered roadside rain gardens were put in to let rain washing down streets and sidewalks to soak into the ground. All of this has really helped but as we look to a future of heavy rains and atmospheric rivers, we would love more help to manage the rain in this area.

How does RainWise help? During heavy rains, the sheer volume of polluted stormwater can cause our combined sewers to overflow. This negatively impacts human health and the health of marine life, such as salmon and orcas. We can reduce this water pollution by installing green stormwater infrastructure solutions, such as rain gardens and cisterns. This is where RainWise comes in.

What is RainWise? RainWise is a rebate program jointly run by King County Wastewater Treatment Division and Seattle Public Utilities. RainWise rebates help property owners manage the rain by installing cisterns and/or rain gardens on their private property. This not only helps reduce stormwater pollution, but mitigates flooding, adds attractive landscaping, and can provide water for summer irrigation.

You can check your eligibility for rebates at 700milliongallons.org/rainwise/eligibility. And, for addresses not eligible for RainWise, Green Stormwater Mini-Grants are available as well at 12000raingardens.org/gsi-mini-grants.

To find out more, please attend one of our upcoming events to talk with program staff and RainWise contractors. We are excited about being back in this area and look forward to helping you get started on your RainWise project!

How to Get RainWise Workshop
Attend this in-person workshop to learn about the program with a short presentation followed by a Q&A with staff and RainWise contractors.
Wednesday, March 1st, 6 – 7:15 pm
Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, 9131 California Ave SW
Register at RWworkshop1.eventbrite.com

Join RainWise at West Seattle Nursery
Come visit our table while you shop for your garden!
Saturday, March 4th, 10 am – 12 pm
Saturday, April 8th, 10 am – 12 pm
West Seattle Nursery, 5275 California Ave SW

How to Get RainWise Webinar
Attend this online webinar and watch a short presentation followed by a Q&A with staff and a local homeowner.
Thursday, March 16th, 5 – 6 pm
Register at bit.ly/mar16RW

Edible Landscapes with RainWise Webinar
Attend this online webinar to learn how edible rain gardens offer a green solution to pollution. There will be a short presentation followed by a Q&A with staff and gardening experts.
Tuesday, April 11th, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Register at bit.ly/ediblewebinar

(RainWise photo, cisterns at Peace Lutheran Church)

RainWise Garden Celebration at Peace Lutheran Church
Come to our RainWise Garden Celebration where you can talk to an array of RainWise, sustainability, and garden experts to learn about the program. There will be tours of Peace Lutheran’s RainWise installation, refreshments, and activities. This is a family-friendly event!
Saturday, April 22nd, 10 am – 1 pm
Peace Lutheran Church, 8316 39th Ave SW
Register at raingardencelebration.eventbrite.com

Not eligible? Feel free to reach out to us! We are happy to help provide you with resources. Check out 12000raingardens.org/about-rain-gardens/incentives to see what other programs are available to you.
Contact us for questions, comments, and concerns at rainwise@seattle.gov.

For more info about RainWise, visit 700milliongallons.org/rainwise

4 Replies to "RainWise returns! See if this is your chance to wade in"

  • Sillygoose February 24, 2023 (9:49 am)

    As the density of land development charges full speed ahead minimalizing green space that use to absorb rain water, has your group considered approaching the Seattle Department of Construction and land use or Zoning to require developers to install these cisterns on their sites.   

    • E March 2, 2023 (3:58 pm)

      New construction in Seattle does already require that they plan for onsite stormwater mitigation in the form of cisterns, pumps, green roofs, etc. RainWise is helping out with single family homes where that design was not incorporated to account for stormwater, downspouts are still attached to the sewer system, etc. 

  • anonyme February 25, 2023 (7:05 am)

    I’d like to know what the criteria are for being eligible for these programs.  My address is consistently denied.  While some locations might not meet the requirements for a rain garden, I would think that nearly every location would be appropriate for a cistern.

  • E March 2, 2023 (4:06 pm)

    https://700milliongallons.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/What-determines-rain-garden-eligibility.pdf Is your house connected to a combined sewer system? Are you within an eligible basin? Is the land stable enough? Is it a sufficient distance from a contaminated site? Does it have adequate drainage?Program funding is limited, so they need to focus the efforts on the areas that have been targeted for various reasons to prove the return on the investment. If it were offered to all then it wouldn’t be spread out as usefully. 

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