Update

As discussed in the KIRO news story, SPU is now meeting to decide on the individual Raingarden’s statuses moving forward.

The residents on 77th and 29th have notified SPU they want all Raingardens on their blocks and intersection removed due to lack of infiltration and resulting safety hazards and ineffectual results.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Update

  1. DRS

    Your blog site has been both interesting and educational! Last August, King County held a community meeting for the Sunrise Heights and Westwood neighborhoods in West Seattle. They presented several solution options for Combined Sewer Overflows, but their clear preference was “Green Stormwater Infrastructure,” aka “GSI.” As you well know, this is nothing but a euphemism for open ditches. Despite all the concerns voiced in the August meeting, King County has selected GSI as their solution and is now marching toward implementation in 2013-2015. Last August, they touted your neighborhood’s project in glowing terms and showed us pictures of the construction in progress. They held another community meeting for us tonight and avoided mentioning your neighborhood at all. I brought it up and mentioned all the problems, which clearly embarrassed the King County project team. A representative from SPU quickly jumped up and said that they are “addressing” the problems in your neighborhood, but I’m not holding my breath for any of us. I dread having an open ditch/stagnant cesspool in my front yard, but it’s clearly being rammed down our throats in West Seattle, too, in spite of the local track record. Sigh.

  2. LB

    Thanks for sharing, DRS, what is going on in Sunrise & Westwood.
    From the KingCounty Wastewater website : “In the Barton basin, raingardens, plantings, and street trees in the City of Seattle-owned right-of-way will be designed to capture and reduce the amount of peak stormwater flows that would enter the combined sewer system by up to 15 million gallons a day.” OMG ! Ballard Pilot Project with its 93 cells has a stated goal of retaining 50,000 gallons. So your mess could be 300 times worse than ours ! ? !?!??!?!?! Good luck and stay in touch.

  3. HSphtr

    If your ground drains, you may be OK. Raingardens can be quite nice when built in a location that is appropriate.

    Don’t stand for any design that, like ours, calls for 6-8″ of water in a ditch for up to 3 days.

    • DRS

      Unfortunately, the ground here in Sunrise Heights is composed of a thin layer of clay-heavy topsoil on top of clay hardpan so dense that a pick-axe will literally bounce back at you if you try to dig into it. In the event the ground does drain, then we’re concerned for our basements. We’re a hillside community of WWII-era and older homes with many of the lots sloping downward from the street to the house. Dumping a large volume of extra water into our front yards when it rains doesn’t bode well for basements that we have worked hard to dry out and keep dry. As a gardening enthusiast, I encourage the use of rain gardens, but they’re not appropriate for every location. The hazards and eyesores inflicted upon your neighborhood are certainly not rain gardens by any stretch of the definition. We still have two years before they begin construction in West Seattle, so I’ll be watching your saga with the city closely and cheering you on. I hope you can reach a satisfactory resolution soon.

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