Contractor Resources

Becoming a RainWise Contractor

If you would like to install rain gardens and cisterns for the RainWise Rebate Program, you must attend one of our free trainings (offered twice a year). RainWise contractors must also be licensed. See Contractor Licensing Requirements for more information.

Become a RainWise Contractor: Three Day Orientation

July 14, 15 & 16, 2020 6-8pm

FREE three-day orientation for Contractors and Landscape Professionals to learn the requirements to install cisterns and/or rain gardens on private property in specific Seattle neighborhoods through RainWise, a City of Seattle and King County rebate program. This three-day orientation is a required prerequisite for all who wish to qualify to perform RainWise installations.

For more information and to register:

Note: This orientation is in English. For Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese Language Contractors, join us July 28-30, 2020. Register at: or contact ECOSS at for language assistance.

RainWise Contractor Academy: A FREE Comprehensive Training

Program starts September 1, 2020 from 6-8pm and runs for 12 weeks on Tuesday/Thursday.

SPU is offering 48-hours of free training to help you become an independent contractor for Seattle’s RainWise Program. RainWise contractors run their own businesses installing rain gardens and cisterns on private property in the City of Seattle. Selected applicants will receive 48-hours of intensive training over 12 weeks. Classes will be held remotely by computer on two evenings per week starting in September. Class size is limited to 20 prospective contractors.

Apply by July 31st at 5:00 p.m.:

For more information about the RainWise Academy: RainWise Academy Flyer

Contractor Skill-Building Webinars

These webinars are for current and prospective RainWise contractors and are held virtually using the Zoom Webinar platform.

“Getting Your RainWise Business Online”

Watch this recording of the Contractor Skill-Building Webinar to learn strategies to getting your RainWise business online. Join RainWise outreach team members to go through useful platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook Business, Yelp, Houzz, and more!

Recording: Getting Your RainWise Business Online

PDF of presentation: Getting Your RainWise Business Online

One-pager of useful tips: Getting Your RainWise Business Online

Design Challenges – How do you make it work?”

Watch this webinar to learn more about the challenges when installing a RainWise project. Join RainWise contractor Roseann Barnhill of Dirt Corps and complete an initial site design for a RainWise project.

Recording: Design Challenges – How do you make it work?

PDF of presentation: Design Challenges – How do you make it work?

Cistern Installation Basics – Dry fit and Pipe Gluing”

Watch this webinar where you will join Jake Harris of Stone Soup Gardens to learn about the basics of installing a cistern system. At this webinar, you will learn how to dry-fit a cistern installation, pipe-gluing techniques, and more!

Recording: Cistern Installation Basics – Dry fit and Pipe Gluing

Sign up for future GRiP meetings here:

For more resources, check out which is a Seattle-based nonprofit that empowers aspiring entrepreneurs with limited resources and unlimited potential.

Existing RainWise Contractors

Sign Up!SignUp for RainWise Events here!

Contractor Newsletter

The RainWise Program mails its Contractor News and Tips newsletter to RainWise contractors. The purpose of this newsletter is to provide contractors with important program updates and events. If you are a RainWise contractor and you are not receiving the newsletter by mail, please contact us at to let us know. Please also let us know if you change your address. We want to make sure we are mailing the newsletter to the right place!

Oct/Nov 2019 Contractor Newsletter

Visit this page for the contractor newsletter archive.

Marketing Materials & Quick Resources

RainWise FAQs in English.

RainWise One Pager in EnglishSpanish, VietnameseTraditional Chinese.

Cistern Fact Sheet available in English, Cambodian, Traditional Chinese.

Tips when becoming a RainWise contractor – In May 2017, RainWise sponsored a panel of experienced contractors to share their tips on how to succeed in the program.

Spring 2019 Contractor Training Presentations (pdf format)

Day 1: RainWise Overview, Maintenance

Day 2: Marketing, Becoming a Contractor

Rebate Paperwork

Contractor Overview and FAQ – inspection request email and phone number

Before RainWise Construction Begins – Customer Understanding Form

Rebate Instructions and Forms 

Infiltration Test Form 

Warranty Form for Cisterns and Rain Gardens 

Notice of RainWise Project Only for contractors approved to have their pre-inspection waived. Updated 9/2/16

Before RainWise Construction Begins – Customer Understanding – This form must be completed by the property owner before construction begins. Submit this form with your pre-inspection request or Notice of RainWise Project.

Materials and Suppliers : This resource is currently being updated and will be available shortly

Map of RainWise Basins – Updated 4/10/17

Maps of rain garden eligibility – Maps of each basin showing which properties are likely eligible for rain gardens.


Financial Support Options

For contractors:

Use this form – Vendor Payment Option – for homeowners who choose to have the RainWise rebate go directly to their RainWise Contractor.

RainWise Pilot Access Loan –

Craft3 provides pre-construction rebate advances to RainWise contractors. This program expands access to the RainWise program by enabling contractors to work with customers who cannot pay upfront for the work. Visit to learn more.

If you choose to participate in this program, please fill out the Rebate Assignment Option form with the homeowner.

For property owners:

RainWise Access Grant: The RainWise Access Grant provides up to an additional $1000 for RainWise eligible homeowners and non-profit community organizations (including religious groups) to bridge the gap between rebate amount and actual project costs for income limited and underserved communities. Note income limitations.

Access Grant and Mini-Grant in Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Korean

Design and Maintenance Resources

Design Specifications:


Design Details for Rain Gardens and Cisterns  

How to install a pump to a cistern

Guides for Plant Selection:

Use these plant suggestions and plans to simplify your design process and share options with customers.

Sightline Institute – Using Cistern Water for Edibles

RainWise Planting Plan

SPU Natural Drainage Systems Plant Palette 2000-2006 

Seattle Green Factor Plant List 


Teach your customers how to maintain their cistern and rain gardens. Use our maintenance guide or “how-to” videos. These are all available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Rain Garden and Cistern Maintenance Guide (English)

Rain Garden and Cistern Maintenance Guide (Spanish)

Rain Garden and Cistern Maintenance Guide (Vietnamese)

Rain Garden and Cistern Maintenance Guide (Traditional Chinese)

Rain Garden and Cistern Maintenance Guide (Cambodian)

Big Roof Rebates (over 2,000 sf)

Large Facility Agreement – Over 2,000SF – Added 9/22/15. For facilities over 2,000 square feet, the Property Owner is required to sign this 10-year commitment instead of the Homeowner Agreement.

Reference materials

RainWise Contractor Program Participation Criteria

Seattle stormwater manual

Rain garden handbook for western Washington

Seattle green factor plant list

Seattle right-of-way improvements manual

Seattle standard specifications and plans

Seattle side sewer permit requirements

Seattle director’s rules

Seattle land use code

Additional resources from western WA