Posted by: SEATTLE OCEAN FRIENDLY GARDENS PROGRAM | April 27, 2012

Raingarden at work…

Raingarden at work...

After 3 days of sustained rain, the RG fills with ~3in of standing water. It was all absorbed within 2 hours leaving the basement bone dry. This baby has solved my basement flooding problem

Posted by: SEATTLE OCEAN FRIENDLY GARDENS PROGRAM | April 27, 2012

The Finished Project!

Posted by: SEATTLE OCEAN FRIENDLY GARDENS PROGRAM | December 6, 2011

Installation Day!!

Dec 3 2011

A Surfrider Foundation sponsored Ocean Friendly Garden has been installed in Seattle!  On a brisk Saturday morning, over 15 volunteers showed up to help install the rain garden in North Seattle.  The preliminary work of  ‘plumbing’ the garden’ had been taken care of in the past few weeks, allowing for the volunteers to focus on the more arduous task of digging, grading, laying the rock, planting, and mulching.  After a little bit of effort- and fun conversations!- the garden and sunken patio was complete.  Now all we need is a good rain storm to help flush it out and to allow for some inevitable fine tuning to maximize performance.

Thanks to all volunteers and the Surfrider Foundation for their support.

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Posted by: SEATTLE OCEAN FRIENDLY GARDENS PROGRAM | November 29, 2011

Prepping the Site!

 

After weeks of preparation and re-routing of gutter system, drawing out the plan on the ground!

Posted by: SEATTLE OCEAN FRIENDLY GARDENS PROGRAM | November 9, 2011

Designing your Ocean Friendly Gardens…

Every good project seems to start like this…

Concepts lead to designs…

 

Posted by: SEATTLE OCEAN FRIENDLY GARDENS PROGRAM | November 8, 2011

Analysis: soil and stormwater run-off

Good design starts with good site analysis…

What sorts of soils do I have?  Completing a soil percolation test helped us determine the size and composition of the rain garden…

  1. Dig test holes for percolation test
  2. Fill the hole and completely drain at least twice before measuring infiltration
  3. Once rate of draining stabilizes, measure rate of water surface drop until hole is completely empty (this is infiltration rate)
  4. You’ll want at least 1″ / hour  infiltration rate to create an effective rain garden

The City of Seattle Rainwise program has information regarding soil perc tests and the amount of site run-off from each and every property in the City!  Check it out…

http://www.seattle.gov/util/About_SPU/Drainage_&_Sewer_System/GreenStormwaterInfrastructure/ResidentialRainwiseProgram/index.htm

How much run-off am I dealing with?

  1. First, map out your downspouts.  The size of your rain garden will be dependent on the amount of roof area you want to drain.
  2. Determine the volume of water you will be dealing with.

This is easy.  Seattle avg. rainfall is 38.6 in/yr or 3.2 ft/ yr.  This needs to be multiplied by the roof area your dealing mitigating.  In our case it was 763 sf.  So, 3.2 ft/ yr x 763 sf = 2442 cf/ yr.  That’s a lot.  But, to put into into gals, you divide by .14.  There are .14 gals in 1 cf.  So, 2442 cf/ .14 = 17,443 gals / year!   So, in our case, we’re mitigating 35% of this in the rain garden.

.35 x 17,443 gals/ year = 6105 gals/ year of untreated storm water kept out of Piper’s Creek!

Now, you need to size garden to accommodation this volume of water.

  1. Size the rain garden accordingly and your off to the races.  Typically, the bottom area of rain gardens need to be about 15% of total runoff area for effective infiltration.  Otherwise you will have more of a bio-swale function during heavy rains, etc. The City of Seattle Rainwise program has information regarding rain garden sizing as well.  The link below is a good start.  If this feels too daunting, it might be a good idea to talk to a professional whom can offer tips and or put together a design plan.

http://www.seattle.gov/util/stellent/groups/public/@spu/@usm/documents/webcontent/spu01_006287.pdf

Posted by: SEATTLE OCEAN FRIENDLY GARDENS PROGRAM | November 8, 2011

Research and guidance…

With planning comes research and review…

What’s out there already, who is doing what?  What sort of resources exist to support the homeowner in this endeavor?

Posted by: SEATTLE OCEAN FRIENDLY GARDENS PROGRAM | November 7, 2011

Planning your Ocean Friendly Garden…

Every project starts with inspiration…

Inspiration then seems to lead towards curiosity.  How can I do my part in improving the environmental integrity of my property?

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