May 30, 2014

White Center's Holy Family Parish Tackles Stormwater in a Big Way

Big changes are underway at a Parish and School in the White Center community.  In the past couple months, Sustainable Seattle has started working with Holy Family to transform their multi-acre property and prevent stormwater pollution.

With the help of Rain Dog Designs, we are installing rain gardens that will qualify for the RainWise incentive program.  But we won't stop there!  The rain gardens will also be designed to qualify for the Stormwater Credit Program through Seattle Public Utilities - saving the Parish money that's typically spent to pay surface water fees.  Since this is the first time these two incentives will work together, this project has the potential to be a model site for future RainWise rain gardens - demonstrating a process that can be replicated at countless sites to access stormwater credits!

This could provide large sites the extra incentive they need to dive into the RainWise program - helping the city of Seattle reach a goal of 700 million gallons of runoff managed by green stormwater infrastructure by 2025.  Isn't that exciting?!

With this extra goal, though, a little more testing and designing needs to happen compared to a standard rain garden. And that work is already underway at Holy Family!  Last week, Associated Earth Services--tasked with analyzing the soil and performing infiltration testing--completed the second step of the process: installing pit drains to assist with the rain garden filtration and testing the infiltration rate.  

It's truly exciting to be able to build a foundation that can be replicated throughout our city.  We'll keep you updated on this project, and share more about planting days and work being done with Sustainability Ambassadors to ensure rain garden education is threaded into the school's curriculum!  

Check out photos of the testing process and learn more about the project here.

Digging the pit and measuring the depth
Pipe for infiltration installed

Infiltrating testing underway
Volunteer Linda monitoring the infiltration

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