RainWise Contractor Newsletter - Summer 2023

Seattle Public Utilities and King County logos - white
Header image with text "Be RainWise - rebates for rain gardens and cisterns"

Our rebates just got bigger. Now's a great time to be RainWise.

Jessica Farmer

Happy summer RainWise Contractors,
As the summer season progresses, I continue to be deeply impressed by the contributions of all the dedicated members of the RainWise team, and that includes you!

In case you missed it, we rolled out our new and improved rebate rates on June 1. You can find the new calculator on the Contractor Resources page on the website, and visit our Rebate Comparison page to see how to maximize your customers' rebates. Read on to learn about program updates you need to know, and what's happening with our outreach to recruit customers. I hope to connect with you soon!

Jessica Farmer | RainWise Program Manager, Seattle Public Utilities
jessica.farmer@seattle.gov, 206.586.2297

Want to meet new customers?

Sign up for upcoming events!

Two people next to a cistern outside their home

Online Webinars
Wednesday, Sept 13, 6 - 7:30 pm
Wednesday, Oct 4, 5 - 6:30 pm
Thursday, Nov 2, 5:30 - 7 pm

In-Person Workshops
Wed, Sept 27, 6:30 - 7:30 pm, Peace Lutheran Church
Tuesday, Oct 10, 6 - 7 pm, Capitol Hill Library

Celebration & Contractor Fair
*** Sat, July 29, 10 am - 1 pm, Rainier Beach Community Club (spots available this weekend!)***
Sat, Oct 21, 10 am - 1 pm, Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church

Outreach Roundup - Help us help you!

Matthew's calling! Keep an eye out for a phone call coming soon from RainWise outreach intern Matthew Mason. Matthew is supporting an expansion of the contractor profiles and filters on the RainWise website, so he is reaching out to all RainWise contractors to make sure the information we have about your services is up to date and ready to share with new customers.

Virtual customer pre-consultations: SPU Outreach Lead Bill Malatinsky has launched a pilot virtual consultation with residents interested in RainWise. Through this service, we're answering a lot of questions about site feasibility and options, so the leads we pass on to you are ready to get their projects started. 

Request for before & after photos! If you have some snapshots to show off from a recent installation, we'd love to refresh our materials with new images that demonstrate the range of attractive and functional installations possible through RainWise. Email your pics to RainWise@seattle.gov.

cartoon graphic of a smiling rainbow

Program Updates

Calculating rebates for cistern to rain garden installations: The new rebate calculator is not yet able to calculate rebates and recommend sizing for cistern to rain garden configurations. We expect this functionality very soon! In the meantime, if you need a calculation, please send project details to jessica.farmer@seattle.gov for a one-off calculation.

Eligibility map changes: As shared in the spring newsletter, there are some updates to the RainWise eligibility map in progress. As long as we can confirm eligibility of an address at the time of pre-inspection, we can offer RainWise rebates for the installation. Roof areas over 5,000 square feet, parcels where the stormwater flow control issues are being managed through other capital projects, and parcels that are in direct discharge areas where stormwater flows directly into nearby water bodies will soon display as ineligible for RainWise. The properties benefitting from capital projects are mostly in the Fremont and Ballard basins, and the direct discharge properties are along shorelines. 

Reminder: Remember, our eligibility map is based on the best information we have from our desks, but your eyes are still the final determiner of a site's suitability - if something seems off, look deeper or ask for help!

Changes to Cistern Purchase Program

Several rainwater cisterns  in a warehouse

After an evaluation of our three-year pilot program, RainWise is fully turning over cistern supply management to Seattle Conservation Corps (SCC). Not much should change from the contractor perspective, other than you will get your invoices from Seattle Parks & Recreation instead of Seattle Public Utilities.

During the transition, there will be a period of time when you have to pay SCC at the time of pick-up, but SCC will have their invoicing system in place soon. In the meantime, you can continue to purchase the remaining cisterns in the RainWise-only supply without paying up front. We still have several Cypress Designs 220 and 315-gallon cisterns available for your summer projects! Contact Penny Garrett for current availability and pricing at (206) 684-0190 (office), (206) 225-8119 (cell phone), or by email at Penny.Garrett@seattle.gov. Penny is out of the office every other Friday.

A Fond Farewell

Tasha Basset

Please join us in congratulating Tasha Bassett on her upcoming retirement this September! Tasha has worked for the City of Seattle for 30 years and has been supporting the RainWise program since 2018. She has created tremendous value as a member of the RainWise team, and will surely be missed. Her last day will be September 20th.

We wish you all the best, Tasha!