RainWise program celebrates new installation in North Seattle

Apostolic Faith Church is doing its part to help King County and Seattle Public Utilities get ready for winter storm season.

With the support of the RainWise program, the church in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood just celebrated a new rain garden installation that will keep over 70,000 gallons of stormwater out of the sewer system each year, and control overflows into local waters during storms.IMG_1252

“There are very few problems that government can solve by itself. This is one where the public can help,” said WTD Planner John Phillips, referring to the increasing volumes of stormwater runoff stressing our sewer systems as a result of population growth and wetter winters.

“The city and the county have been working together on the RainWise program for about six years. It’s a great partnership with the communities, with our neighbors and our customers, and it’s a great partnership with faith-based organizations.”

Places of worship are often excellent locations for rain gardens and cisterns because they tend to have large rooftops or parking lots that yield a great quantity of stormwater runoff.

But for this church, the rain garden fulfilled a greater purpose.

“Our congregation is multicultural, varying in age and economic status but we all agree that it’s our responsibility to try to be good stewards of the creation that God gave us,” said Apostolic Faith Church Pastor Bill McKibben.

“This rain garden is one expression of that, and we’re glad it will relieve some of the stress on the city and the county water systems, and hopefully be a benefit to all of our neighbors.”

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The public was invited to a festive community event hosted by the church in late September that featured music and singing, a potluck lunch and the opportunity to talk to RainWise program experts about rebates that can cover up to 100 percent of the cost to install a rain garden or cistern (rain barrel).

King County and SPU have also partnered with Al Noor Mosque and Peace Lutheran Church and a number of community and faith-based organizations on RainWise projects.

RainWise is a joint program of Seattle Public Utilities and King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division. Over 50,000 properties in Seattle are eligible for RainWise rebates.

For additional information on the Rain Wise program and to take a virtual tour of local projects, visit RainWise online at www.700milliongallons.org/rainwise.