FEATURES: Design Innovation, Storm Water Management, Urban Farming, Water Conservation
This tour stop features a good variety of different RainWise installs to help you see what is possible within the RainWise Rebates program. We’ll also provide ideas and solutions for installing low cost rain gardens and stormwater cisterns in areas that are not eligible for the rebate.
As we replace forests and natural areas with buildings, streets, and yards, we still need to manage the runoff from rain, storms, and snowmelt. We can accomplish this by taking cues from nature itself, using green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) to clean runoff before it arrives in our wastewater system and waterways. Seattle Public Utilities and the Wastewater Treatment Division have teamed up with the goal of managing 700 million gallons of polluted water using GSI each year by 2025.
Unlike pipes and treatment plants that collect and clean polluted runoff after it travels for miles, GSI uses plants, trees, soil, and engineering inspired by natural drainage systems to manage stormwater where it falls. By mimicking natural processes, we protect our waterways AND enjoy numerous other benefits. Green Stormwater Infrastructure increases the number of trees and plants in our neighborhoods, provides habitat for pollinators, improves air quality, and naturally replenishes groundwater. Installing nature-based drainage solutions on both public and private property helps Seattle to be a sustainable and resilient city.
What is a Rain Garden?
A rain garden is a shallow depression containing spongy soil and a variety of plants. Rain gardens collect water from your roof downspouts and other parts of your property, and allow it to safely soak into the ground. These are different from the highly engineered bioretention swales that look like rain gardens in planting strips next to a road. These capture and clean runoff from adjacent streets and sidewalks.
- Manages runoff from roofs, paths, driveways
- Adds beauty and habitat to your property
- No technical knowledge is required for routine maintenance
What is a Stormwater Cistern?
A stormwater cistern is a large above ground container that captures rain from a roof downspout, then slowly releases it through a low flow valve to your yard or side sewer. This special low flow valve lets water trickle out to make room for rain from the next storm. In the late spring, this valve can be closed if the owner wants to use the rain for summer watering.
- Easy to design, install, and maintain
- Cisterns can capture water for summer watering
Seattleites may get rebates for rain gardens and cisterns.
To receive a rebate, you must live in an eligible combined sewer overflow (CSO) basin. Check to see whether your property is eligible for a RainWise Rebate for a cistern, a rain garden, or both: https://700milliongallons.org/rainwise/eligibility/