In Seattle, many of our roads drain to catchbasins that feed into combined sewer overflow (CSO) stormwater infrastrucutre. These CSO systems periodically get overwhelmed during heavy rain events and result in discharges of sewage into our water ways, such as Lake Washington. You can actually check out this interactive map to see whether CSO’s are discharging into our City’s waterways during rain events. In Wedgwood, most of this water either drains south to North Union Bay, near the Center for Urban Horticulture.
To help alleviate the volume of stormwater entering these systems and minimize costly infrastructure improvements, the Seattle Public Utilities has developed the RainWise program. Through SPU’s RainWise program, home owners can get significant rebates to have rain gardens or cisterns installed on their property to capture runoff from roofs or other impervious surfaces. In many cases, these rebates will pay the whole cost for construction and landscaping of a rain garden or instllation of a cistern (Average Rebate = $4,400!). There’s an easy way to figure out if you qualify for RainWise rebates. Simply, check on SPU’s RainWise website whether your address is within the boundaries of a RainWise CSO basin.
If you do qualify for RainWise rebates, SPU will be hosting a a series of FREE RainWise 101 workshops over the coming months to learn more. You can even meet RainWise qualified contractors on March 21st from 11:30AM-1PM at the Hunter Farm Gathering Place (7744 35th Ave NE) to help meet and select a contractor to help guide you through this process. SPU has even put together a walking tour for the NE Seattle and the Wedgwood area to see rain gardens that your neighborhs have already had installed through SPU’s RainWise program. You can learn about all of this and more through their NE Seattle RainWise Brochure (PDF).
UPCOMING RainWise EVENTS. Register at www.sustainableballard.org/register
- RainWise Contractor Fair – Find out how to get started with RainWise and meet qualified contractors.
Satureday, March 21, 11:30AM-1PM at Hunter Farm Gathering Place, 7744 35th Ave NE
- FREE RainWise 101 Workshops – Learn about the RainWise program. Register at www.sustainableballard.org/register
- Thursday, March 19, 7-8:30PM, Sand Point Methodist Church, 4710 NE 70th St
- Wednesday, April 1, 6-7:30PM, Ballard Public Library, 5614 22nd Ave NW
- Sunday, April 19, 3-4:3oPM, NE Seattle Public Library, 6801 35th Ave NE
- Wednesday, April 22, 7-8:30PM, Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave N