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Maintenance of Rain Gardens, Swales, and Stormwater Planters

Maintenance of Rain Gardens, Swales, and Stormwater Planters

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Maintenance of Rain Gardens, Swales, and Stormwater Planters

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  1. Maintenance of Rain Gardens, Swales, and Stormwater Planters Photo: EMSWCD OLCA Expo December 1, 2011

  2. Partners Candace Stoughton EMSWCD Gail Shaloum Clackamas WES Rob Emanuel Clean Water Services Damon Richardson Pacific Sports Turf Henry Stevens Portland BES Maria Cahill Green Girl Land Development

  3. Agenda • What is stormwater? Why manage it? • Legal issues • Role for landscape contractors • Types of facilities • Maintenance activities • Vegetation • Pests • Irrigation • Soils/Mulch • Structures • Erosion Control • Spills • Take home messages

  4. What is Stormwater? Rainfall and snowmelt that runs off instead of seeping into the ground. Photo: morgueFile

  5. Sources of stormwater? Roofs Driveways Rainfall and snowmelt that runs off instead of seeping into the ground. EMSWCD EMSWCD Streets Parking Lots morgueFile Green Girl Land Development

  6. Water cycle

  7. Stormwater Can cause unnatural flooding East Portland News

  8. Stormwater Can degrade streams Photo: morgueFile Johnson Creek Watershed Council Photo: East Portland News

  9. Stormwater Carries pollutants to waterways morgueFile

  10. Rain garden-municipal Photo: EMSWCD EMSWCD Planted landscape facility designed to collect and absorb runoff and filter out pollutants.

  11. Swales (aka bioswales) Long, planted, open channel that carries, slows stormwater and filters out pollutants. EMSWCD

  12. Rain garden-residential EMSWCD Planted landscape facility designed to collect and absorb runoff and filter out pollutants.

  13. Stormwater planter Structural landscape reservoir designed to filter out pollutants, and in some cases, infiltrate stormwater. EMSWCD

  14. Stormwater planter/green street EMSWCD

  15. Function

  16. Anatomy-Infiltration planter Graphic: Clean Water Services, LIDA Manual

  17. Anatomy-Flow through planter Graphic: Clean Water Services, LIDA Manual

  18. What is involved? • Facilities need inspection and maintenance (annually, or more) • Maintenance includes: • hydrologic and water quality function • landscape functions • impacts on human health and safety EMSWCD

  19. Business opportunity Specialized training to design, inspect and maintain • Landscape Architects • Civil Engineers • Landscape Designers • Landscape Contractors • Green industry professionals P • Example: • City of Portland • 9000 stormwater facilities • ≈ ¼ are LID facilities Metro

  20. Maintenance agreements

  21. Inspection log • Each jurisdiction will have • different requirements for • inspections, reporting, etc.

  22. General observations Before you go… • O & M plan or manual • As-built or design report • Locations of inlets/outlets, plantings, irrigation, historical problems, previous observations Clackamas County Water Environment Service

  23. General observations Once you arrive… • Current and recent weather conditions? • Last rain event? • Inlets and outlets clear? • Banks stable? • Draining as designed or short-cutting? • Pavement in good condition? • Animal damage? • Can you access? • Steep or uneven terrain? • People entering/cutting through the facility?

  24. Contributing area • Trash • Leaves • Oily • Gravel • Sediment • Street or parking lot sweeping • Fertilizer or pesticide use • Other activities going on upstream

  25. Contributing area Clackamas County Water Environment Services

  26. Contributing area Clackamas County Water Environment Services Clean Water Services

  27. Safety and access Access • Need to have access • Flat or evenly sloped • If fenced, trim fenceline for 3 feet if space allows • Consider safety before you begin (do not enter flooded facility) Pacific Sports Turf

  28. Safety and access Metro morgueFile Clackamas County Water Environment Services

  29. Safety and access Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) • Sturdy boots • Gloves, puncture resistant gloves • Ear plugs/earmuffs if operating power equipment • Eye protection when “weed wacking” or mechanical trimming, handling large branches • Long sleeved shirts and pants • Hard hat if cutting overhead Clackamas County Water Environment Services 35

  30. Safety and access Other Equipment • Rakes: to clean out under shrubs where you can’t see • Grabbers: for trash, sharp objects, or needles • First aid kit EMSWCD EMSWCD morgueFile

  31. Safety and access Public Safety • Vehicle entrances/exits • Where people walk through, create a path OSU Extension Clean Water Services

  32. Trash Metro • Remove trash to prevent clogging and contamination

  33. Functions • Moving • Appearances • Pests • Irrigation O&M tasks related to vegetation

  34. vegetation can be part of the solution……vegetation can be part of the problem.…..…

  35. Planting plans Oregon Rain Garden Guide

  36. Aesthetics OSU Sea Grant

  37. Aesthetics Clean Water Services

  38. Aesthetics vs function Clean Water Services

  39. Keeping things moving morgueFile

  40. Keeping things moving EMSWCD

  41. Inlets Clean Water Services

  42. Inlets Clean Water Services

  43. Shade and competition Clean Water Services

  44. What would you do? Clean Water Services

  45. Aesthetics Clean Water Services

  46. Aesthetics EMSWCD

  47. Do’s and Don’ts for Plants • Do strive to keep good plant cover in a WQF • Do pay attention to facility design • Do replace dead plants promptly • Don’t overly trim grasses and grass-like plants • Don’t let plants block water flow

  48. keeping pests at bay morgueFile morgueFile

  49. Principles of IPM • Start with healthy plants • Monitor and identify pests • Be tolerant of some damage • Choose the least toxic control first • Combine techniques