Kitsap County's Manchester stormwater "park" improves water quality in Puget Sound, Washington State
Note to Reader:
The Manchester Stormwater Retrofit Project in Kitsap County, Washington State, will provide water quality treatment of stormwater for approximately 100 acres of the Manchester community. The goal of this project is to improve water in Puget Sound. Initially, the project was designed to replace an aging and undersized outfall. However, the County recognized a unique opportunity to remove stormwater pollutants. This park is Kitsap County’s first stormwater park.
Manchester’s Stormwater Park: Retrofits to help the Puget Sound’s water quality
Kitsap County is located in the center of the Puget Sound and has many small- to medium-sized communities located along more than 200 miles of marine shoreline. Kitsap’s shoreline and maritime context has created a special identity for the people living there and a strong connection to the surrounding environment.
One of these communities is Manchester, a small village of about 5,000 people that sits on the east-facing slope of a steep hill that rises 400 feet above the Puget Sound. The “downtown” commercial core of the community lies at the foot of this slope along the shoreline.
Kitsap County goal is “Integrated Solutions”
The environmental impacts for population increase and resultant urbanization led Kitsap County Public Works (KCPW) to develop integrated solutions to manage stormwater runoff. One of the main components of the overall stormwater management strategy is the use of green stormwater solutions (GSS) in retrofitting existing development.
This project came about because an aging and undersized stormwater outfall pipe in Manchester needed to be replaced. Kitsap County took a holistic approach to the problem, and rather than just replace the outfall, sought a solution to address stormwater issues upland, improve water quality, alleviate flooding, and create a park for the community.
Stormwater Park Design
“The community voiced their desire for a ‘context-sensitive’ natural design that fit with the surrounding community’s character and took advantage of the Puget Sound views,” states Chris May, Surface & Stormwater Division Director with Kitsap County Public Works. An open-space ‘gathering’ area was also of high interest to the community that would connect to and complement the existing waterfront Pomeroy Park.”
“Education about stormwater, the Puget Sound, and how everyone can help improve environmental quality were also important messages the community wanted incorporated in interpretive signage for the stormwater facility.”
“Located on a site that once housed a gas station, the new park has enhanced the downtown area. It is now a public gathering space for the small community of Manchester.”
“It is not only a pleasant community space but also a workhorse to clean polluted stormwater runoff from roads, parking lots, commercial property, and residential areas using green stormwater solutions,” concludes Chris May.
To Learn More:
Read Manchester’s Stormwater Park: Retrofits to help the Puget Sound’s water quality for the complete story as published in the May 2016 issue of Stormwater Magazine.