The RainWise Program, implemented by King County, is a highly commendable initiative that is primarily focused on effectively managing stormwater and safeguarding our precious waterways from pollution. With the ultimate goal of reducing the negative impacts of stormwater runoff and reduce flooding, this program offers attractive rebates to property owners who take proactive measures such as installing rain gardens or cisterns on their premises.

Rain gardens are an ingenious and eco-friendly solution to the problems posed by stormwater runoff. These gardens are carefully designed to capture rainwater using rainwater tanks, allowing it to be naturally filtered and absorbed into the ground. By doing so, rain gardens effectively alleviate the burden on stormwater systems, preventing excess runoff from overwhelming the water infrastructure and, ultimately, the waterways. Moreover, rain gardens also serve as aesthetically pleasing additions to any property, enhancing its overall visual appeal.

In addition to rain gardens, property owners can also opt for cisterns as part of the RainWise Program. Cisterns are essentially large storage tanks used for rainwater harvesting that collect and store rainwater for later use. This rainwater catchment system, commonly employed in permaculture design, offers numerous benefits. Aside from reducing stormwater runoff, cisterns provide a sustainable water source for various purposes, such as irrigation or washing vehicles. This not only conserves water resources but also helps property owners reduce their reliance on municipal water supplies, leading to potential cost savings.

Understanding the Program

What is the RainWise Program?

The collaboration between King County and Seattle Public Utilities offers a joint program. This program grants property owners rebates when they install rain gardens or cisterns. The main goal is to effectively control stormwater and hinder water pollution. This initiative is just one component of a broader endeavor to enhance the water quality in Puget Sound and other nearby water sources. Rebates may cover most or all of the cost (average rebate is around $4,400).

Program Eligibility

The location of the property should be within a basin where combined sewer overflow is permissible. The property owner must agree to take care of the rain garden or cistern that will be installed. A RainWise-certified contractor must handle the installation.

How to Take Advantage of the Program

Step 1: Confirm your property’s eligibility by visiting

Step 2: Select a contractor that is RainWise certified. You can locate a certified contractor by visiting

Step 3: Complete the installation of your rain garden or cistern

Step 4: Submit a rebate application. Once the installation is complete, you can submit an application for the rebate. The rebate can potentially cover the entire expense, depending on the size of the system installed and the eligible area of your property.

The RainWise Program is a great opportunity for property owners in King County to contribute to the preservation of our water bodies. Not only does it provide environmental benefits, but it also offers financial incentives through rebates. By understanding the program and following the steps to participate, you can take full advantage of the RainWise Program.



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