RainWise Contractor Newsletter - Fall 2023

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

"Rain showers my spirit and waters my soul." - Emily Logan Decens

Group of people standing near a tall rain tank with artwork and the words "Water is Life"

Dear RainWise Contractors,
Welcome to the Fall 2023 edition of our RainWise Contractor Newsletter! 

The rainy season has arrived, and we're reminded now more than ever about the importance of managing stormwater runoff to keep our waterways clean.

Seattle Public Utilities and King County greatly appreciate the work you do to help Seattle residents be part of the stormwater solution! With each RainWise installation, you are helping reduce combined sewer overflows and supporting a thriving natural environment. Read on for this season's news and reminders, and please reach out if you have comments or suggestions.

Best regards,                       

Jessica Farmer signature

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

RainWise Access Grants

Even relatively small out-of-pocket costs for RainWise projects pose a barrier to many would-be participants, particularly low-income and underserved communities. The RainWise Access Grant, offered in partnership with nonprofit Stewardship Partners, provides up to an additional $1,000 for RainWise eligible homeowners and non-profit community organizations (including religious groups) to bridge the gap between rebate amount and actual project costs for income limited and underserved communities.

Learn More

In Case You Missed It...

New Construction & Remodels

person standing in a lawn at the edge of a rain garden near a remodeled building

Due to stormwater code requirements at the time of construction, some properties built or remodeled after 1979 may have infiltration facilities already on-site which make them ineligible for RainWise. Be sure to look at the side sewer cards and site plans and permits available through the City of Seattle’s website to ensure there are no on-site flow control facilities. You will also need to share this information with your inspector at pre-inspection. 

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

Cartoon otter watering a garden with text explaining that the top rebate available for rain gardens is $7 per square foot

RainWise rolled out new and improved rebate rates on June 1. Rain gardens now qualify for up to $7 per square foot of roof area managed, and cistern installations can receive up to $5.33 per square foot. 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. In addition to offering higher rebates, the new calculator is easier to use and offers more flexibility than past versions.

Inspectors' corner

Rex Davis and Sabine Jessel

2023 brings more fond farewells, as we congratulate SPU lead inspector Rex Davis on a new position with the Shape Our Water team at SPU, and we wish King County lead inspector Sabine Jessel well as she departs the County later this year. Both inspectors have brought valuable knowledge and insights to our program, and they will be missed! 

Join Us Nov. 2 and Meet New Customers

woman kneeling in rain garden among flowering plants

The fall event season is winding down, but there's still time to join us once more to meet new customers and help grow your RainWise business!

RainWise Webinar & Virtual Contractor Meet Up
November 2 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm   
Sign Up to Join!

Related News & Opportunities

It's time for fall maintenance

man demonstrating how to open a drain valve on a rain tank outside a building

This time of year, we all need to ensure our gutters and drains stay clear of leaf debris that can build up and cause flooding. Please encourage your customers to practice good maintenance to keep their RainWise systems flowing freely. Maintenance resources are available on the RainWise website.

Get engaged with GrIP!

hands from many people lined up along a tree trunk

The Green Infrastructure Partnership (GrIP) is a group of nonprofits, government agencies, community-based organizations, and businesses working to promote the voluntary adoption of green stormwater infrastructure as a viable, affordable, and effective approach for reducing stormwater runoff pollution in Puget Sound.

GrIP is seeking enthusiastic volunteers for its Steering Committee as we prepare to resume our regular event schedule in 2024! 

Interested? Reach out to Amelia Bahr at abahr@kingcounty.gov to learn more.