Find out more about how you can help manage stormwater at home.
Why be RainWise?
- Reduce flooding
- Protect property
- Restore our waters, for people and wildlife
Find out more about how you can help manage stormwater at home.
Fall is officially upon us and as it’s traditionally a pretty wet season for Seattle, now is the perfect time to take a few steps to prepare for the coming season. Periods of intense rain can lead to flooding without warning, but there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you and your family are well prepared.
– Clear leaves and debris away from street drains in your neighborhood with a rake or broom (only if it’s safe). Don’t put grass clippings, leaves, or other debris into drains, ditches, creeks, culverts, gutters or ravines. If a storm drain appears blocked below the street surface, call 206-386-1800.
– Clean gutters and downspouts twice a year.
– Build a family emergency kit. Keep enough water, food and other supplies (flashlights, crank or battery-operated radio, blankets) in your home to meet your needs for at least three days.
– Have a family disaster plan.
– Protect water pipes from freezing in exposed or unheated areas (attics, basements and garages) by wrapping with tape and insulating materials.
For more tips on how to prepare for winter storms, visit www.takewinterbystorm.org.
Seattle Public Utilities Resource Venture program offers free tools and assistance to help Seattle area businesses conserve resources and prevent pollution. Learn how your business can reduce costs, gain a competitive edge, and contribute to a clean and healthy community.
Find available rebates, useful publications, how-to guides, manuals, regulatory help, reports, and self-audit tools to green your business, comply with laws, and improve your bottom line. Learn more >
Waste prevention and recycling can save 20-30 percent on your business waste bills, bring you into compliance with Seattle’s recycling laws, reduce your carbon footprint, and improve your company’s green image. Learn more >
Prevent Water Polution
When it rains, stormwater runoff picks up harmful substances from parking lots, roofs, streets, sidewalks and construction sites. These pollutants flow directly into our waterways. Seattle businesses are required to implement practices to protect our region’s water. Learn more >
Saving water is good for business and the environment. Your business may easily reduce water use and lower utility costs 20-30 percent by replacing inefficient equipment and changing operations. Learn more >
Seattle has led the nation in embracing the Living Building Challenge in schools through two groundbreaking efforts that occurred this year:
April 15, 2013 — the Bertschi School in Seattle received full Living Building Challenge certification for its new science wing, making it the first project on the West Coast to achieve this goal.
May 15, 2013 – Seattle Public Schools (SPS) approved Resolution 2012/13-12, stating that their School Design Advisory Teams will strive to meet the principles of the Living Building Challenge.
The Cascadia Green Building Council is hosting an interactive panel discussion with Stan Richardson of the Bertschi School and Stacy Smedley of the SEED Collaborative to discuss these milestones. These local leaders in school design and development will share the factors that led towards adoption of Living Building at the Bertschi School, and the work that is being done to gain wider adoption of the Challenge in the public school system.
Come share the excitement of this work, ask questions, and take part in an interactive brainstorm of how we can help shape our schools! The event will be held at the new Bertschi School science wing and will include light food and drinks.
When: Thursday, August 15, 2013 – 6:00pm to 8:30pm
Where: Bertschi School, 2227 10th Avenue East Seattle, WA 98102
Hundreds of millions of gallons of polluted water from rain storms (“stormwater”) flow into Seattle’s creeks, lakes, and Puget Sound every year – runoff that contains bacteria from sewage overflows and toxins like petro-chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals from our yards and cars. “Green stormwater infrastructure” (GSI) helps prevent this pollution by slowing the runoff and using natural systems to filter and clean the water close to where it falls as rain.
GSI methods include bioretention swales, rain gardens, cisterns that collect stormwater and store it until it can be released slowly, pervious pavement (instead of traditional cement which water runs off of instead of through), and green roofs. Seattle has been a national leader in the development and application of these technologies for over a decade, and these approaches are now considered best management practices by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Washington State Department of Ecology.
But there’s more we can do to increase the use of GSI technologies and protect our waterways. The Mayor recently announced a goal to achieve 1,000 “greened gallons” (stormwater managed with green infrastructure) annually per resident by 2025. This represents about a six-fold increase over the amount of stormwater Seattle currently manages with green infrastructure. To help achieve this goal, the Mayor signed an Executive Order (PDF) that directs City departments to develop a coordinated approach to significantly increase the use of natural drainage systems and Council will adopt a resolution supporting the goal in April.
What can you do? There’s plenty!
How are we ensuring reliable delivery of high-quality water into the future?
How could climate change impact that outlook?
What is the right level of water conservation?
How much do we need to invest to maintain our pipes and other facilities?
A new draft plan is out for 2013 and is available for comment until Thursday 5/31. To review the draft plan and provide comments, visit SPU’s Water System Plan site.
Peak residential water rates are in effect from May 16 through September 15 each year. Peak rates incorporate a three-tiered rate structure with progressively higher rates as water consumption increases over a 60-day billing period. For example, the first 10 CCF (or 7,480 gallons) costs $4.43 per CCF. The second tier rate (for up to 26 CCF) increases to $5.15 per CCF.
During the warmer, drier summer months, we depend on water stored in our mountain reservoirs to meet customer demand while leaving enough water in the rivers for fish. The tiered rate structure helps to ensure that we all help conserve water.
So, what can you do to save water and money?
Check out the Saving Water Partnership site for lots of great information, rebates and tips on saving water. In addition, Seattle Public Utilities has new income guidelines for receiving up to 2 free low-water use toilets, including installation! Learn more at their site.
The SMP includes the goals, policies and regulations that govern land use and activities within the Seattle Shoreline District. Seattle’s Shoreline District includes the Duwamish River, the Ship Canal, Lake Union, Lake Washington, Green Lake, Puget Sound, associated wetlands and floodplains, and all land within 200-ft of these water-bodies. Uses include public access, floating homes, setbacks for homes on shorelines and protection of environmentally critical areas.
SPU is looking for your feedback until December 6. You can submit your comments to Maggie Glowacki at firstname.lastname@example.org, (206) 386-4036. You can also send comments to: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019.
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is reaching out to the public to ask their thoughts on on plans to reduce waste and improve recycling, food and yard waste composting, and other solid waste services. How we manage our waste (both individually and on a municipal level) is a critical component to our overall environmental impact.
The survey should take about 15 minutes. Please take it here.
With all the cool weather lately, it can be easy to forget that Seattle summers are typically very hot and dry. It makes sense to use smart watering practices in your yard to save water and money, since water rates are higher in the summer. And it helps the environment too, by causing less runoff of pesticides and fertilizers into waterways.
Check out the Smart Watering Guide and other information available on the Seattle Public Utilities site. If you’re interested in an automated sprinkler system, there are rebates available for those as well. Everyone wins when we water smart!