Hà, GSI Mini-grant Homeowner
How does the Vietnamese community use green stormwater infrastructure (GSI)? We interviewed Hà at her home in South Seattle to learn how she prevents stormwater from polluting our waterways.
Hà used to collect rainwater in small containers until she heard about RainWise mini-grant rebate program. In 2020, ECOSS connected Hà with a Vietnamese contractor to install stormwater cisterns in her backyard.
Hà also has a rain garden in the front yard. Rain gardens are designed to prevent stormwater pollution by directing rainwater from the roof toward the garden and away from the storm drains. Native plant species filter the toxins out of rainwater, so the water becomes cleaner.
Hà, how do you use your cisterns and how long have you had them?
“I have used the cisterns for about 2 years already. They both hold 205 gallons. At home, our family uses cisterns to water plants and flowers. In the backyard, we grow herbs. It’s different each year but recently, for example, we grew corn, green beans, and various types of mint. We have cherry, plum, and pear trees.
My family really loves flowers. I use a recycled tire as a pot to plant some of the flowers. And we love growing summer plants, so that’s why I really need the cisterns. It helps me collect more to better water the plants. We have chrysanthemums in red and white. The plants in the front of the house are all flowers which consume a lot of water, so the two cisterns are great for that. I save a lot of money on water bills, too.”
In the process of the installation, you had a Vietnamese contractor help with installing the cisterns, how was this helpful to you?
“It was very convenient since we share the same language, which makes it easier. It was easier for us to converse back and forth. ECOSS helped my family navigate the paperwork and they were so dedicated. They were very specific about how to maintain the cisterns, so that was helpful. Great work, ECOSS!”
How can RainWise reach the Vietnamese community?
“This is a great program. Not a lot of people know about it. A lot of elderly Vietnamese usually do not speak English. News about this program is likely to be limited and inaccessible to them. You could advertise on Facebook or online somehow so that our grandchildren and children can learn about it and apply for their parents. That way more people will learn about the program and spread it far and wide to many more homes and families. It will help even more people. Many people will like it.”
RainWise helps immigrant communities easily access green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) such as Ha’s cisterns and rain garden. Interested in installing a cistern and/or rain garden and need language assistance? ECOSS can help you every step of the way.