case study

Our Lady of Guadalupe

"Rain Dog Designs installed a innovative “vertical” rain garden in a planter box to capture water flow from the cisterns."
- RainWise Team
Project Facts
Rain Dog Designs
1 rain garden
Roof Captured
4,760 square feet
Amount Rebated
Project Summary

Located in the High Point/Delridge neighborhood of West Seattle, Our Lady of Guadalupe (OLG)’s RainWise installation represents a success story of multi-stakeholder collaboration towards managing rainwater runoff from 4,760 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,
  • protects Puget Sound from combined sewer system overflows, and
  • created an elevated or “vertical” rain garden in an existing planter box – which was inspired by existing stormwater code for new developments, a first for RainWise.

The project was completed in 2016, with a total of $16,374.40 covered by the RainWise rebate program.

Project Specifications

The entire roof drains into three 1,320 gallon cisterns. Two cisterns overflow into the “vertical” rain garden and the other cistern overflows into a buried pipe, then out to a tree planter area.

This “vertical” rain garden allows water to collect via roof, but instead of a shallow depression in the ground, contractors placed the spongy soil and plants above ground in an existing planter box. Rain Dog Designs got pre-approval for this installation and Our Lady of Guadalupe is the first to use this option within the RainWise program.

While not appropriate at all sites, this innovation is an example of contractors working together with their clients and RainWise to allow rebates at complex sites.

Environmental Stewardship & Stakeholder Collaboration

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.

The project connected the Peace Lutheran GreenTeam, who previously participated in the RainWise rebate program, with OLG leadership to kick start the project. Even the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle took notice and is sharing OLG’s success story with other Catholic schools and churches. The collaboration continues, with Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School developing a RainWise curriculum for science students to learn about the system on their property.