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From Sustainable Ballard

We’re Helping Our Neighbors Get RainWise!


Remember the T-shirts? Seattle Rain Festival: January through December. Ha! We are indeed blessed with abundant water and a green environment, but all this rain also creates problems. During heavy rains, our storm water system overflows, and combined sewer overflows pollute our precious Puget Sound.

Fortunately, there's something Ballard homeowners can do to help out: Manage storm water at home!

In the Ballard Basin*, property owners can get beautiful and functional landscaping, and store rain water for watering gardens - with up to 100% of the cost paid by the City of Seattle & King County. REALLY!

Sustainable Ballard is excited to be partnering with King County and Seattle Public Utilities to get the word out about RainWise rebates. This program is a win-win-win for homeowners: our stormwater is safely managed on site, we get enhancements to our yards and property, and the average rebate from the City is $4,000. Over 180 Ballard households have already taken advantage of this program.

RainWise Resources


We're here to walk you through the RainWise process with any or all of these resources:

Workshops and Open Houses
Learn about how rain gardens and cisterns help manage storm water, hear from delighted RainWise homeowners and get inspired by slides of their yards, meet trained RainWise contractors who can offer a free consultation, learn how to get costs up to 100% rebated, and get set to take the next step.

RainWise Virtual Tour
Check out this friendly, online introduction to the wonderful world of rain gardens and cisterns. See pictures and get ideas from fellow Ballard homeowners. Gardens on this armchair tour range from elegant to quirky, from small highlights to large landscape features.

Walking Tour Map
Put together your own Walking Tour of rain gardens and cisterns in the Ballard neighborhood with this handy map showing all the locations where RainWise homeowners have given us permission to share their address. You can also look for the "I'm RainWise" signs on your block.

Join SB's RainWise mailing list
We will keep you informed of all the latest RainWise developments. Get a heads-up on upcoming workshops and open houses. Learn about financing options or new contractors. Find out first which neighborhoods will be the next ones eligible for RainWise Rebates.

Talk with a RainWise Team Member

  • Call a RainWise teammate for answers, guidance, and encouragement: (206) sixzerofive-fivenineonezero
  • Or email us, 24/7 -

Find an approved Contractor
Already convinced? We've narrowed the search to RainWise-trained contractors who are ready and willing to work in the Ballard Basin now. Call one or more today!

More about "Get RainWise"

The Problem

  • When it rains, runoff flows from our roofs and yards, carrying oil, fertilizers, pesticides, sediment and other pollutants downstream.
  • Storm water is the #1 polluter of Puget Sound.
  • The problem is made worse in Seattle, where our antiquated sewage system combines storm water and raw sewage in one pipe.
  • During a hard rain, this mixture of toxic runoff and raw sewage is too much for our sewage treatment plants to handle, and the excess is dumped directly into the Sound.
  • Overflows happen an average of 318 times per year.
  • In 2010, 190 million gallons of untreated sewage and toxic storm water flowed into our lakes, streams, and Puget Sound.
  • This damages water resources and harms aquatic life.

Learn More

YOU Can Be Part of the Solution
  • An important part of the solution is for landowners to install rain gardens and cisterns.
  • A rain garden acts like a native forest by collecting, absorbing, and filtering storm water runoff from rooftops.
  • Rain gardens are simply shallow depressions constructed with soil mixes that absorb water quickly and support healthy plant growth.
  • They can be shaped to fit your yard and can be planted with a variety of plants to fit your landscape, including edibles.
  • Cisterns are above-ground tanks that capture rainwater from your roof, allowing you to use it for watering during dry spells.

Learn More

The Process

It's as easy as 1-2-3!

Step 1 See If You Qualify for a RainWise Rebate
(The Ballard Basin Rebate area is (approximately) west of 15th NW, and between NW 56th and 85th Streets.)
Step 2 Find a RainWise Contractor
Step 3 Get Your RainWise Project Installed & Claim Your Rebate
Most contractors will handle all the paperwork.

  • Good to Know:
    • The city will reimburse up to 100% of the cost of installing a rain garden or cistern.
    • The average rebate is $4,000. Learn More about Rebates
    • If you live in Seattle but don't qualify right now, hang tight! RainWise will expand through most of Seattle by the end of 2018; watch your mailbox for news from SPU.