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Thread: Rain gardens

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Rain gardens

    Started work on a rain garden todan. The front yard in on a slope and we need to reduce and spread the stormwater. City is promoting rain gardens ro slow down flows to the stormwater system. This is to help with the peak flows within the stormwater system. Also promotes recharge.

    Is your town promoting this idea?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Our town is run by hick car dealers and other good old boys who make Jed Clampett look like a Ph D. They are not even on the page for environmental stuff; oh, and we're only an hour and a half west of you.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    Congratulations
    The rain gardens that I have seen do a lot of good and actually save the local government money in storm water run off costs
    There are now some municipalities that give tax breaks for owners who have rain gardens that reduce the storm water run off that lessen cost of the storm sewers and the associated costs of storm sewers. Not in my area,
    I have seen large parking lots that have incorporated rain gardens to reduce run off,
    Some times it is hard to get through to "leaders" that this can be a cost savings, I know I have not been successful, They have just humored me
    My home sets on a lot that has about two inches of top soil then large rocks and gravel below. So I have very good drainage and no run off, Other wise I would be putting a rain garden

  4. #4
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richi View post
    Is your town promoting this idea?
    A regional watershed organization has been promoting rain gardens for stormwater management on lakeshore development.

    Our town planning board has been very supporting of this approach, and requires it where recommended.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    We recently had a resident apply for a naturized lawn permit and in the low part of their back yard they proposed a 'rain garden'. I put rain garden in quotes because what they were calling a rain garden was actually little more than a flooded area with a few invasive 'junk' plants (e.g. purple loosestrife)that had managed to get a toehold.

    Done correctly a rain garden can be both an attractive and functional asset. Many communities would benefit by having more (properly done) rain gardens.

    Here's the World's Premier Link to rain garden design!
    http://www.lowimpactdevelopment.org/...nWesternMI.pdf
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Ms. Black Thumb (who managed to kill the first three sets of Aloe Vera my sister tried to gift to me before finally managing to keep a set alive) has a Stoopid Kwestion:

    What on earth is a Rain Garden???


    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone View post
    What on earth is a Rain Garden???


    Thanks.
    In a nutshell, it’s a drainage area that has plantings in it and is intended to absorb runoff water from impervious surfaces (parking lots, patios, driveways, etc.) commonly found in urban environments. Storm water soaks directly into the ground as opposed to flowing into storm drains or causing surface runoff/erosion. Click on that link in my previous post if you want to learn more.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    In a nutshell, it’s a drainage area that has plantings in it and is intended to absorb runoff water from impervious surfaces (parking lots, patios, driveways, etc.) commonly found in urban environments. Storm water soaks directly into the ground as opposed to flowing into storm drains or causing surface runoff/erosion. Click on that link in my previous post if you want to learn more.
    Thank you. (I actually already clicked on the link before asking. They seem to assume you already know what one is and launch into how to make a "perfect" one.)

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Thanks for the link Maister. That's a whole lot of info although some is not relative to Florida.

    Fat Cat - Good idea on a tax break. Our community has a "drainage utility" that you pay fo in each utility bill. Interesting that my "private" neighborhood has to maintain our own stormwater management system, but we don't get a break on the "utility". I'm going to suggest that all with approved rain gardens get a say 25% break on the monthly charge. That way it might get bumped down to 5%. But in this time of $ crisis with the state budget I won't hold my breath.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    We promote rain gardens and aquatic restoration. Stormwater is a big issue for us.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
    http://metzendorf.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Planning Fool's avatar
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    Stormwater/Protecting the Chesapeake Bay is a big issue for us, so we are vigorously encouraging the use of many types of Low Impact Development (LID) measures including Rain Gardens, Infiltration trenches, Filterra systems, etc. It'll be interesting to see what impacts they have.
    Prediction is difficult, especially about the future. :-o
    - Yogi Berra

  12. #12
    Cyburbian transguy's avatar
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    Rain gardens?? Those will attract mosquitoes and then we’ll all contract malaria! Instead, we should get the water off our property as fast as possible, and put it into a system just under flood levels. This won’t cause any issues, especially with respect to erosion, and should help to get those terribly life threatening mosquitoes away. If not, we drive around in a big truck and spray the entire area to kill off the bugs. That can’t have any negative impacts on the area.

    sighhhh…..

  13. #13
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Our UDC, which we just started planning, is supposed to include not just rain gardens, but rainwater harvesting for non-consumptive uses as part of the general drainage requirements for subdivisions.

  14. #14
    BANNED
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    Rain Garden Examples

    I'm very interested in the idea of a rain garden. Does anyone have any plans or links to good examples they can link me to?

    Thanks!

  15. #15
    BANNED
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    No one? Anyone? Bueller?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian cdub's avatar
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    Here's a link to some photos of bioswales/ rain gardens so you can get a sense of the variety. Some can be large areas the size of detention zones or they can be as small as buffer strips between streets and sidewalks or parking bays. With runoff becoming a bigger issue in many municipalities, you'll be seeing many more of these as effective strategies for dealing with volume and water quality, in urban areas especially.

    http://www.sitephocus.com/search_res...yword=bioswale

    Hope these help.
    www.sitephocus.com ...get the picture

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Transguy - Rain Gardens are NOT water gardens, ponds or mini-swamps. The intent is to slow down the flow and infiltrate if possible. They are not really detention ponds certinly not retention ponds. I suppose some could stay wet long enough to cause sketter problems, but mine is empty of water in 4 hours after filling up and overflowing the berm. The only time it has overflowed (in the 6-weeks that it has been in existence) was when we had some 2 inches in about 1.5 hours.

    It was interesting to watch it slowly fill, then it overflowed the berm w/o doing too much cutting and then the overflow stopped almost like turning off the tap.

    Maximum depth is about eight inches. The bottom is flat so there is no pooling. A flat bottom is a good design feature I think, for that reason.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    A follow up to my last post.

    The plants for the rain garden typically should not be wetland plants. Many of them will not find the soilwet enough for long enough periods. They should not be xeric as well. But plants in the middle that can stand a couple of days of damp soil will thrive.

    Brjackson - What kind of soildo you have? Don't know anything about xeric sw floria, but wonder if you have that calache(?) hard as concrete stuff if you might be able to have some of the wildflowers bloom longer than typical with damper soil for longer than typical.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian transguy's avatar
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    My previous post was meant to be overloaded with sarcasm. We have had citizens and businesses in the past try and located rain gardens on their properties. Citizen outraged ensued with the previous arguments against allowing them. The political powers that be listened to the citizens, not the experts (our municipal engineers and engineers for the applicants). I used the previous post to let some steam off. Sorry for the confusion.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Sorrry for missing your point Transguy. I have heard the uninformed rants on far to many issues far too many times. And the politicians fall for it! So my scrcasm detector may need tuning up a bit.

  21. #21
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    Michigan State just (couple of months ago) had a day-long conference on LID focusing on storm water management and water quality. Check the website for MSU's Institute of Water Research. There should be a link to the presentations which covered things like rain gardens, green roofs, bioretention, etc. Here's the url: http://www.iwr.msu.edu/

  22. #22
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by transguy View post
    My previous post was meant to be overloaded with sarcasm. We have had citizens and businesses in the past try and located rain gardens on their properties. Citizen outraged ensued with the previous arguments against allowing them. The political powers that be listened to the citizens, not the experts (our municipal engineers and engineers for the applicants). I used the previous post to let some steam off. Sorry for the confusion.
    I figured as much... but good to indicate at end of post if you are being sarcastic... lol!
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
    http://metzendorf.blogspot.com/

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
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    Rain Gardens Gone Bad...

    Our engineering department has approved a few rain gardens as ways for people to meet their drainage requirements. Unfortunately, some of these gardens are not properly maintained.

    Another issue is that when the initial soil test is done, the water "perks" fine. However, when the rain garden is installed, they dig deeper than the test was done, and are closer to clay. This keeps them from draining properly during a storm.

    Does anyone know of cities that have a maintenance requirement or periodic inspection of raingardens? Any ideas on how to avoid these issues?

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Web page for rain water harvesting in New York City's public gardens:
    http://www.waterresourcesgroup.org/?p=25

    Map of community gardens with rain water harvesting in NYC:
    http://www.waterresourcesgroup.org/w...rwh-map-06.pdf

    Quote Originally posted by Richi View post
    . . . Is your town promoting this idea?
    New York City as a whole? Yes and no. While the links (above) exist, they're at least 1.5 years out-of-date. General news stories on the subject are scarce.

    The city's Water Resources Group (WRG) is conducting a dress-up-your-rainwater-harvesting-system
    contest for all gardens in the city for the 2008 growing season:
    http://www.waterresourcesgroup.org/w...rmgt208doc.pdf
    I call the contest 'window dressing'.

    The real planning and promoting appears to be on a micro level: mostly by local organizations and interested stakeholders throughout NYC's five boroughs.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally posted by anf View post
    Our engineering department has approved a few rain gardens as ways for people to meet their drainage requirements. Unfortunately, some of these gardens are not properly maintained.

    Another issue is that when the initial soil test is done, the water "perks" fine. However, when the rain garden is installed, they dig deeper than the test was done, and are closer to clay. This keeps them from draining properly during a storm.

    Does anyone know of cities that have a maintenance requirement or periodic inspection of raingardens? Any ideas on how to avoid these issues?
    In my city, in the more "progressive" central city neighborhoods there are a lot of raingardens that have been installed by volunteer homeowners in conjunction with the city as a type of LID demonstrations, they are maintained pretty well since they are meant for this purpose. From what I'm hearing, they have been talked about quite a bit and the LID ideas are becoming conversation topics here in the Ozarks.

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