case study

Community of Hope Church

"Community of Hope Church becomes RainWise with 12 cisterns managing 142,000 gallons of stormwater annually!"
- RainWise Team
Project Facts
Rain Dog Designs
12 cisterns
Roof Captured
8,344 square feet
Amount Rebated
Project Summary

Community of Hope Church of the Nazarene is located in the Highland Park neighborhood of south Seattle and is also known as Iglesia de Nazarene de Mt. Sion or Bethany Community Church West Seattle. The church caters to different audiences, with several services throughout the week. Their RainWise installation includes several cisterns, which manage 142,000 gallons of rainwater every year. The project

  • manages rainwater runoff from over 8,300 combined square feet of flat roof area,
  • provides water storing for summer landscaping,
  • protects Puget Sound from combined sewer system overflows, and
  • serves as an example to other faith-communities to become RainWise.

Project completion was in 2015, with rebate total of $23,633.66, or 100% covered by the RainWise rebate program.

Project Specifications

Workers with Rain Dog Designs painted the downspouts to match the original color of the church building. This is one of many ways RainWise contractors can work with customers to personalize their installation. Cisterns are placed at different spots around the building in order to easily capture rainwater from the roof.

Contractor Support & Creative Solutions

Rain Dog Designsinitially contacted the church pastor in October 2014, proposing a RainWise project with a series of cisterns in the rear and two rain gardens in the front, facing a busy street. Worried about possible infiltration issues, Rain Dog decided to replace the proposed rain gardens with more cisterns, with    a total volume of 4,000 gallons. Cistern water overflows away from the church into gravel dispersion trenches and then runs across the front sidewalk to the street.

To make the installation more aesthetically pleasing and protect against possible damage, Rain Dog painted downspouts to match siding and added wood fence in front of each cluster of cisterns. The cisterns provide peak flow attenuation during winter months, draining slowly into the combined sewer/stormwater system. In the dry season, the cisterns provide irrigation storage capacity for landscaping.

Not only did they qualify for 100% rebate for the installation, the church is now eligible for up to a 25% reduction on annual stormwater fees. As Seattle area stormwater fees are increasing at the rate of 10% per year, this project has a triple bottom line positive outcome for Community of Hope: reducing stormwater impact, creating irrigation storage, and providing long-term stormwater fee reduction.

Project partners include church leadership, King County staff, RainWise outreach staff and the creative design talents of the RainWise contractor, Rain Dog Designs.