While biking around the Ballard neighborhood in northwest Seattle, we’ve noticed several little stone gardens beside the sidewalks. They have signs saying “I’m Rain Wise – This property manages rainwater at home.”
Our friend and Peak Moment guest Jim Bristow (This Old House – Rethink, Reuse, Remodel, episode 195) is working at the heart of the RainWise project.
He explained that extreme storms overload Seattle’s big runoff storage cisterns, causing increased pollution in the local waterways. The RainWise project puts rain gardens on private parcels, where water is percolated or slowed down in its journey, thus reducing the load on the city’s runoff system.
On many lots, Jim is also installing cisterns, which store roof rainwater before it goes to the rain garden. In summer, that stored rainwater can be used for watering a garden. Or with filtration, used for emergencies.
We videoed the cisterns and rain garden at Jim’s house. Thanks to his friend Mark Early, here are some behind-the-scenes shots of a Peak Moment TV show in the filming.