Most of southeast Wedgwood and portions of Bryant, View Ridge, and Hawthorne Hills is located within the City’s North Union Bay basin. An urban watershed defined by the City’s stormwater and sewage infrastructure. The basin is one of numerous Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) basins where stormwater and sewage combine and overflow (aptly named) during significant storm events. During these events, untreated stormwater and sewage from the basin outfall in Union Bay near the Center for Urban Horticulture.
As part of the City’s compliance with its National Pollution Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) permits, the City is implementing a CSO Reduction Plan developed in 2010. This plan identifies a Priority B basin and has set a target goal of providing an additional 71,000 gallons of control. To accomplish this, the City plans on using Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Improvements, which includes rain gardens, bioretention swales and cisterns. One of the ways the City has helped achieve their targets is through their RainWise Program, which incentivizes home owners to disconnect their roof drains and store or infiltrate their rooftop water on site.
The gist of the RainWise Program is that the City will essentially pay for a City-approved contractor to size and construct/install a rain garden or cistern on your property if your home is in the North Union Bay basin. Rain gardens have been built all around the City and has successfully controlled millions of gallons of stormwater. A lot of attention has been paid to a couple rain gardens in Ballard that didn’t infiltrate as they were supposed to (see HERE and HERE). However, numerous successful examples of rain gardens can be seen HERE.
More information on rain gardens can be found on the 12,000 Rain Gardens Initiative website or watch the video below. For more information on the SPU’s RainWise Program, you can email » or call (206) 633-0224.