Friday, June 03, 2011

Rain Gardens Not Draining

Rain Garden Not Draining
Photo & Text © 2011, Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved; no use, reproduction, alteration or republishing in any media.

I, and I suppose a lot of other Seattle residents, received a notice from Seattle Public Utilities this week announcing incentives to encourage residents to instal rain barrels or rain gardens on their property to reduce storm water and pollutant run off into our vital waterways. I've seen rain gardens properly and very attractively installed in a few places (the parking strip adjacent to Ballard Corners Park, the median on 14th Ave NW, and  in private landscaping in a couple resident's front yards). I've also noticed while out walking that, on the main, the large pilot program the city attempted in parts of the Ballard neighborhood isn't working as expected. After walking past this rain garden, and noticing standing water when there had been no rain in days, I looked for information on how the pilot project was going (read about it here and here). Apparently, after meetings with concerned residents, hiring pumping trucks to siphon off standing water regularly, and further surveys in the field, SPU agreed in April to remove the rain gardens that aren't working and restore the grassy parking strips where they were built. I'm hoping the rain gardens promoted in this week's flyer are of significantly better design. We have a large cistern filled with rock and gravel under the top soil of our small back yard, into which the rain gutter downspouts of our roof and those of our two next door neighbors drain underground. I've never had soggy soil or standing water, but we are near the top of a hill. I'm wishing the city and affected residents well in successfully resolving these unforeseen drainage difficulties in what was a well-intentioned pilot program.

1 comment:

brattcat said...

Ah, the best laid plans....