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Runoff Control at Four Scales

Mimic the Function of Natural Watersheds: City of Victoria implements Stormwater Utility + Rainwater Rewards Program


The Stormwater Utility provides the City with the capability to influence landowner actions on the ground for the common good. “The utility is both an equitable and proportionate billing system. It also builds awareness of how to reduce our environmental and utility impact and find ways to incentivise more sustainable choices for water management,” stated Fraser Work. “Building climate change resilience is the responsibility of everyone!”

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ARTICLE: “We need to work at multiple scales and multiple levels to improve conditions in our small stream watersheds—that’s our strategy,” stated Chris May when explaining application of science-based understanding in Kitsap County


“We have applied this whole systems concept to develop our strategy for watershed retrofit and rehabilitation. Now it is a matter of wait and see in order to be able to show the positive effects of the retrofit program,” stated Chris May. “Everyone wants instant gratification, but realizing the benefits takes time. It took 100 years to get here. It will take 100 years to turn the situation around. The initial signs are good. The monitoring shows that Kitsap County may be ‘holding the line’.”

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YOUTUBE VIDEO: Green Infrastructure Takes Stormwater Management ‘Back to the Future’ – Andy Reese, 2011


Andrew Reese sees stormwater management going “back to the future” faster than a 1982 DeLorean with a “flux capacitor.” Even if you don’t get his clever reference to the Steven Spielberg movie, it suffices to say: Big changes are coming out when it comes to regulating pollutants in stormwater. And, it turns out, mimicking nature with green infrastructure can provide a reliable means of meeting new standards.

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OP-ED: Do Green Streets Actually Work for Stormwater Management? – reflections by Jonathan Page on eco-region differences


“Surprisingly, there are very few peer-reviewed research papers that have evaluated Green Streets on a stormwater control and treatment basis. There are a couple of factors related to the lack of available datasets,” wrote Jonathan Page. “One factor is the ‘newness’ of the Green Streets and Green Infrastructure movement; another contributing factor is the difficulty in monitoring and instrumenting Green Street projects for research.”

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Green Infrastructure in Kitsap County, Washington State: Manchester Stormwater “Park” achieves desired environmental and social outcomes in Puget Sound


“A spiral rain garden is the focal point of the park. Water that typically flows off the hillside is collected and treated through this facility. Then every half-hour, one cell of the three-cell spiral walls releases its water charge through rocks located on the sides of the figure. It then filters the water through the spiral, putting clean water back in to Puget Sound,” explained Andrew Nelson.

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Project Clear: St. Louis, Missouri demolishes vacant buildings to reduce rainwater inflow to combined sewer systems


Right now, big storms can overwhelm the city’s combined stormwater and sewer system, causing raw sewage to overflow into rivers and streams. If a surface is paved over — or has a building on it — rain will run off it into the sewers. But take the building away and the rainwater can seep into the ground instead. “We were amazed to find that the building demolitions actually resulted in a large amount of water capture for relatively very few dollars of investment,” said Brian Hoelscher.

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Looking At Rain Differently in New York City: “Everyone understands what a sponge does, even if they don’t understand green infrastructure or phytoremediation,” said Susannah Drake


Sponge Park is a $1.5 million pilot project that will determine whether such spaces can effectively prevent new pollution from entering the canal. “In the vast majority of storms, the park would capture all of the water flowing to a dead end at the canal,” said Susannah Drake. During the heaviest rainfall, the park will at least cleanse and filter water before it flows into the canal.”

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Green Urbanism & Rainwater Management: Cleveland Botanical Garden spearheads “Vacant to Vibrant” pilot program for rain gardens in three US states


The effects of the work are spreading throughout Gary, Indiana’s neighborhoods. “They’re sprucing up their own properties,” Brenda Scott-Henry said. “One guy said he’s going to put up a white picket fence, have a barbecue and invite his family over to look at the site. We have neighbors taking care of three, four, five lawns on a block just to keep it looking good.”

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Creating the Future in The Corporation of Delta: Rain Gardens Help Restore Nature


“The program came about through a fortunate confluence of personalities, interests and skills – it is not something that a community can necessarily just decide to do, and presto, it happens. Remove any one of the individuals or organizations who played roles in the process, and North Delta’s school and community rain gardens either would not have happened at all, or would have been much less successful,” stated Deborah Jones.

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