Monthly Archives: December 2010

New Hazard: Ice

No precipitation today, just cold: Now we have ice ponds.

Notice the ice that has formed in the street from water flowing out of the Raingarden. Also note the small boy, aged 7 or 8, who was walking on the ice this morning. (He ran when I started taking pictures; if someone knows him, please apologize for me for freaking him out.) Maybe this type of Raingarden works in a vaccuum–but here they’re in a community with curious children.

Below is one of the functioning Raingardens. It still formed into ice when the temperature dropped:

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Daily Status

Raingardens are mostly full today with no rain.

(The garbage is also accumulating.)

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Article Regarding Kids’ Safety Around Water

One of our community members sent an article link from about keeping kids safe around water.

From the article:

“Kids need constant supervision around water — whether the water is in a bathtub, a wading pool, an ornamental fish pond, a swimming pool, a spa, the beach, or a lake.

“Young children are especially vulnerable — they can drown in less than 2 inches (6 centimeters) of water. That means drowning can happen where you’d least expect it — the sink, the toilet bowl, fountains, buckets, inflatable pools, or small bodies of standing water around your home, such as ditches filled with rain water.”

The majority of our Raingardens this morning are holding more than two inches of water, and it is not currently raining. According to SPU, the Raingarden is working successfully if it drains after three rain-free days.

The article also speaks to being cautious of “weeds and grass that could entangle a leg or arm,” which are specifically planted at the bottom of our Raingardens.

The full article is here:

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We’re Now Searchable on Google

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This Week’s “Ballard Roadside Raingardens Monitoring Report” From The City

The City sent this week’s monitoring report for the project:

Recent Actions: Week of December 13th

Stakes have been installed the rain gardens so one can easily measure water depth.

There are 92 cells (a single rain garden can be divided into multiple cells with weirs (small raised “dams” between each cell).

Measurements on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010, 48 hours after rainfall end:
½ of the cells are draining well — dry or less than 1-inch of water
1/8 of the cells are draining a bit – 2- 4 inches of water
1/4 of the cells had 4 – 6 inches of water
1/8 of the cells had more than 6 inches of water; one of those had 11 inches of water

Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010: Vactor truck emptied cells filled with standing water

Upcoming Actions

Sandbags will be replaced with more effective flow blocking asphalt plugs.   To channel street runoff around the rain garden asphalt plugs that are full curb height will be placed on the inlets of most cells*, and 2-3” asphalt plugs at the most downstream outlets of a cell or series of cells.  These asphalt plugs are intended to remain in place until summer, allowing the plants to establish and reduce ponding.  Note that runoff will still enter rain garden cells from the sidewalks, driveways and areas where roofs downspouts have been disconnected.  Project monitoring will evaluate if runoff from these sources results in standing water durations longer than our design standards; if yes, corrective action will be taken by the project team.

*The following locations will not have the curb cuts blocked:
• All cells on 30th Ave NW.  Soil work and planting at this block occurred early enough in the season to allow this block to have water entering the cells this winter.
• Due to the way water is routed at a few locations along 28th NW a few of these cells will still receive runoff.  ON the west side , the cell just south of 67th and the cell just south of 66th.  On the east side, the cell just south of 72nd.   Runoff must continue to enter these cells and then be directed back out to 28th.

For the rain garden cells not constructed to the design depth or 6” maximum ponding water, more soil will be added to those cells.  However, that work cannot be conducted while the soils are saturated without negatively impacting the cells ability to drain so that work will occur after the asphalt plugs are in place. No parking signs will be reduced and those remaining will be lowered.

Ongoing Actions

  • Weekly meetings of the project and planning team to review the monitoring data and consider options that could improve performance
  • Regular posts to blog to provide monitoring data and gather input.

Thank you for the information, City.

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Hazards Galore

Here’s another possible tragedy surrounding these hazards along a public sidewalk: A kid on a bike could easily hit the curb of a bump-out, fly off, and hit his/her head on the six-by-four board inserted across the middle of a hole (see “Pictures”). Can you picture it, SPU? We can.

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Hot Topic for Ballard’s Christmas 2010 Cocktail Parties

A neighbor emailed that our Raingardens were “huge talk at our friends’ Xmas party Saturday night.” (The friends live on 70th and 34th.)

Are we honored? We’re at least supported!

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