With Spring three months away, and mosquitos ready to start developing eggs, we are enormously concerned about the lack of urgency from SPU in getting these Raingarden problems fixed. There should be no standing water in our neighborhood.
A comment left on our blog:
“I’ve worked in public health and am very concerned about the lack of drainage in these raingardens for several reasons, many already mentioned. Whether these are not working due to lack of foresight of the physical inability of the gardens to drain or for other reasons, the facts speak for themselves and the gardens should be removed as a matter of public safety….It does not appear that there has been a time when at least one of these gardens (or cells) did not have a significant amount of water in them. We are aware of the high risk of West Nile Virus from mosquitos and Public Health – Seattle/King County has been very active in educating the public about removing standing water around their houses, in flower pots, rain barrels, etc. Perhaps they should evaluate these raingardens for the risk factor of mosquitos breeding in all the standing water….I hope that the City realizes that it’s not too late to reevaluate the performance of these raingardens and sees that it has a responsibility to help this neighborhood maintain safety for its citizens.”
And more comments regarding mosquitos from our Facebook page:
“Wow. How ugly. Do you not get mosquitos in Seattle?” – S.F.
“I haven’t seen this concern in the more recent comments or blog posts: Come spring/summer, standing water will be a prime breeding ground for disease carrying mosquitos, etc. Does anyone know if the gestation for mosquito larvae is less than the 3 day ‘standing water’ design guideline?” – F.D.
“I lived in St. Louis and can attest that mosquitos do not need 3 days to incubate. Craziness! In fact, the advice always was to remove all pools of standing water, lest diseases be spread from those pesky insects.” – S.F.
The City believes, since the Raingarden is designed to drain after three rain-less days, there will be enough movement in the water to abate mosquito development. However, this model requires a majority of dry days in Seattle. Also, according to the City’s own data, only half of the Raingardens are “draining well,” meaning the other half are not draining well, which leaves enough standing water for mosquitos to complete their lifecycle.
We have reached out to the King County Department of Health for more information on and assistance with mosquito control and specifically West Nile Virus.