case study

Highland Park United Methodist Church

Project Facts
Rain Dog Designs
3 cisterns
Roof Captured
7,328 square feet
Amount Rebated
Project Summary

Located in the Highland Park neighborhood of West Seattle, Highland Park United Methodist serves both Tongan and Hispanic congregations. United Methodist’s RainWise installation exemplifies how different congregations can work together to improve their environment and community by managing rainwater runoff from over 7,000 square feet of flat roof area. The project

  • generates substantial water storage for summer landscape irrigation,
  • provides detention and infiltration of the existing roof area,
  • keeps about 125,000 gallons of stormwater out of the system each year, and
  • protects Puget Sound from combined sewer system overflows.

The installation was completed in May 2015, with a total of $24,276.01 covered by the RainWise rebate program.

Project Specifications

Three 660-gallon cisterns capturing 2,779 square feet of roof area are located in the back of the building, with two overflows to existing catch basins in the parking lot. One large rain garden is situated in the front of United Methodist with a 140-square foot bottom capturing 4549.7 square feet of roof area. Two overflows go to the sidewalk.


Multilingual Guidance and Support

In May 2014, the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS) contacted Latino pastor Gerardo Guzman about the RainWiseprogram. Around the same time, David Hymel of Rain Dog Designs approached the Tongan Pastor, Mausia Fulan. ECOSS handled all communication between the congregations and Rain Dog Designs – in English with a Tongan interpreter for the Tongan congregation and in Spanish for the Latino congregation.

After two months of discussing the opportunity, The Highland Park United Methodist Church community approved moving forward with their RainWise installation. ECOSS continued to provide support for the church leadership and Rain Dog Designs by acting as a mediator in-person, assisting with RainWise paperwork and translating technical aspects.

Community Engagement & Stakeholder Collaboration

Since project completion in June 2015, Highland Park United Methodist Church held a ribbon-cutting event for their installation, participated in a virtual tour for south Seattle RainWise projects and has a large informational sign installed. This is an example of maximum effort with maximum results, for both the amount of water diverted from the sewer system, and as a demonstration project that engages and educates diverse communities and the neighborhood on green stormwater infrastructure.

Project partners include church leadership, King County staff, RainWise outreach staff and the creative design talents of the RainWise contractor, Rain Dog Designs. All stakeholders worked together to keep thousands of gallons of rainwater out of the sewer system each year.