Other Options

Due to the Vashon Glacial Till (clay) covering 17 feet (after the top soil) of Sunset Hill, we believe these Raingardens will not produce desired results and may possibly exacerbate the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO).

“Retro-fitted” Raingardens include under-drains underneath the landscaping—an experimental technology that produces disputed data and puts the worth of this type of Raingarden into doubt. SPU has not yet provided data that would demonstrate this as the optimal solution.

Given the cost, inefficiency, and hazards, Raingardens (the Natural Drainage project) lack the return on investment the community is looking for.

Moving Forward

Ideally, SPU would work closely with the Ballard community in coming up with CSO solutions that are environmentally effective and cost effective.

Following are other CSO solutions presented to SPU by the Ballard District Council on 10/15/12:

  1. Educating residents about conserving water and other steps that they can take to reduce combined sewer overflows;
  2. Expansion of RainWise program for residents, churches, and businesses;
  3. Small storage solutions, such as under traffic circles;
  4. Cisterns; and
  5. “Live storage” options where appropriate.

One response to “Other Options

  1. Kevin

    Has anyone looked into installing dry wells into these rain gardens/cells? With medium-heavy clay layers underneath these, the water isn’t going anywhere – not quickly anyway. Heck, it’s not uncommon to line ponds with clay soil to avoid losing water and heavily fluctuating water surface levels, so what makes anyone think that just because you call it a rain garden it won’t act like the pond or wetland it’s been designed like?? A dry well could be a possible solution, which can be done to whatever depth is needed to get past the clay layers and into more permeable soil below. I’ve seen dry wells 6, 8, 10, even 20 feet deep. It’s just a round hole about 2-3 feet in diameter and filled with gravel. Not too difficult and just might be the easiest solution here.

    I really don’t know much about the particulars of this situation. I happened upon your website and it’s the first thing that came to mind. Just a thought.

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