Green Infrastructure:
Reconnecting Water, Soils and Vegetation in the
             Urban Environment




            Miche...
Two important observations:


  Frequency: Most of
 the time, it rains 1 inch
         or less



Annual Percentages of Vo...
A New Paradigm for Water
Volume: Capture the Small Frequent Rainfalls

• Pennsylvania – Volume Increase for 2-Year Event (...
Image by
Viridian
Landscape
Studios
The Challenge – Combined Sewers
Restoration:
Washington National Cathedral

               • Cathedral and Parking on
                 top of hill
       ...
Once the Volume is reduced
• Repair outfalls and ravines
  with check dams
• Prevent to continued loss of
  groundwater
• ...
First Step:
Reduce the problem by
reducing the volume of
         runoff

• Direct Runoff to Infiltration
  Trenches in La...
Amphitheater that is an
  infiltration system
• Replace Storm Sewers with
  Infiltration Trenches along
  Roadway
• Intercept Storm Sewer
• Return water to woodland
  soils
Stormwater in Philadelphia

 • Capture first 1-inch of rainfall from
   impervious surfaces for new development
   (curren...
Urban Schools:
  Sadie Alexander
  K-8 School
• Constructed in 2000
• Philadelphia Water
  Department
• Reducing Volume to...
Stormwater Infiltration Below Playfield

• Roof Leaders from Building to
  Bed
• Old Urban Fill
• Infiltration to Reduce V...
Rain Gardens
•   Education
•   Access
•   Infiltration
•   Urban Green Space
Porous Pavement Playground
(no puddles!)
Rain Gardens
               Rainwater can
               support the
               landscape and soils,
               re...
Porous Paving with Infiltration




    Same Detail Can be Used with Standard
           Paving with Infiltration
Porous Asphalt Walkways

                Swarthmore College




         Grey Towers
         National Forest Service
Greening Greenfield School
New Porous walk




                  Construction of
                  Vegetated Swale
 Before

Removal of Pavement to Create
Stormwater Swale
                           After 
Capture of 1-inch rainfall
plus green space,
education, and new play
areas.
Independence Charter School
Porous Asphalt, Stormwater Cobble Swale to Rain Garden


              Swale to
              ...
Independence Charter School
Waterview Recreation Center
Downspout Planter Boxes
Before




                     After 




Before    After 
Passyunk
Avenue
 • Busy dirty
   street
Overflow water
exits to an inlet




                        Bio-retention




     Water from the street enters
         ...
Clark Park


 • Constructed in 2007
 • Philadelphia Water
   Department & PA
   Horticultural Society
 • Infiltration Bed ...
Stone Infiltration Bed
• Captures 1.5” of Water
  from Street, Parking Lot,
  and Sidewalks
Street inlet designed
with water quality
insert and sump to
prevent debris and
sediment from
clogging infiltration
bed.
Finished Basketball Court with
Subsurface Infiltration Bed
Porous Asphalt
Portland Porous Streets




                          Porous Concrete




    Porous Pavers
East Falls:
Complete Streets
Rendering by Andropogon Associates
Rendering by Andropogon Associates
Commercial and Parking Lot:
Urban Grocery Store in Wilmington


                      • City and Delaware
                ...
Bioswales and Rain
                       Gardens for Parking
                       Lot water




Tree Trenches
collect s...
West Hollywood Porous
      Pavement
    – Existing Site
Planter Box
(Variation on Bioretention)




    Wilmington Library
Also Bioretention and
Storage for Irrigation
At the Residential Level:
               Downspout Disconnection
Disconnect downspout
from combined sanitary
sewer system
...
Portland, Oregon
        • Elimination of 94% of
          overflows to Willamette
          River by 2011

        • > 44...
Where Does The Water Go?
• Lawns
• Other pervious
  surfaces
• Vegetative swales
• Rain gardens
• Infiltration trenches
• ...
New Residential: Village at Springbrook
                                         •   High Density Residential
            ...
• Each home manages its
  own runoff in a Rain
  Garden seepage bed,
  located in the right-of-way.
Pervious Pavements




                            Paths




  Patios, Terraces,
    Courtyards

                      Dri...
At the Residential Level:
Rain Barrels
Infiltration Trench – “leaky pipe”
A Private Retreat
    Philadelphia PA


                The property




                Wissahickon Creek
               ...
The Plan
                                     Lawn

                                     Patio




           Compost
N
Ex...
The Street




Street trees were obtained through Philadelphia Green & the WNCA Tree Tenders
From Lawn to Meadow
         NATURAL AREA
 Meadow Development in Progress
   Roxborough Habitat Restoration Project


 Bea...
The Rain Garden
                          Lawn

                          Patio




           Compost


Existing
        ...
Rain Garden
         and Swale
         Location




Before
A Private Retreat

Infiltration bed
Planted Swale
Rain Chains, Spash blocks
Restoring Panther Hollow –
 Restoring the Watershed
Michele Adams - Panther Hollow Presentation
Michele Adams - Panther Hollow Presentation
Michele Adams - Panther Hollow Presentation
Michele Adams - Panther Hollow Presentation
Michele Adams - Panther Hollow Presentation
Michele Adams - Panther Hollow Presentation
Michele Adams - Panther Hollow Presentation
Michele Adams - Panther Hollow Presentation
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Michele Adams - Panther Hollow Presentation

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Michele Adams, Principal Engineer and founder of Meliora Design in Kimberton, PA, shares experiences with watershed management at a presentation in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Michele Adams - Panther Hollow Presentation

  1. 1. Green Infrastructure: Reconnecting Water, Soils and Vegetation in the Urban Environment Michele Adams, P.E. LEED AP
  2. 2. Two important observations: Frequency: Most of the time, it rains 1 inch or less Annual Percentages of Volume from Storms Volume: 96% of the annual rainfall volume of 36 inches is from storms 3 inches or less
  3. 3. A New Paradigm for Water Volume: Capture the Small Frequent Rainfalls • Pennsylvania – Volume Increase for 2-Year Event (1 ½” - 2”) • City of Philadelphia: 1” from Impervious Surfaces • US Green Building Council (LEED) – 95% of Rainfall Events EPA: Mimic Natural Hydrology
  4. 4. Image by Viridian Landscape Studios
  5. 5. The Challenge – Combined Sewers
  6. 6. Restoration: Washington National Cathedral • Cathedral and Parking on top of hill • Surrounded by “Olmsted’s Woods” • Point Discharges eroding hillside, creating ravines • Lack of Recharge: Diminished Soil Moisture and Dying Trees • Invasive Vegetation
  7. 7. Once the Volume is reduced • Repair outfalls and ravines with check dams • Prevent to continued loss of groundwater • Make the structures look natural
  8. 8. First Step: Reduce the problem by reducing the volume of runoff • Direct Runoff to Infiltration Trenches in Lawn Infiltration Trenches
  9. 9. Amphitheater that is an infiltration system
  10. 10. • Replace Storm Sewers with Infiltration Trenches along Roadway
  11. 11. • Intercept Storm Sewer • Return water to woodland soils
  12. 12. Stormwater in Philadelphia • Capture first 1-inch of rainfall from impervious surfaces for new development (current rule) • Stormwater fees restructured in 2010 - monthly charges for impervious and total site areas. • Stormwater measures can reduce monthly fees • “Green Streets” designs • Planter boxes, tree trenches, rain gardens, and bioswales • Use vegetation and soils to manage stormwater
  13. 13. Urban Schools: Sadie Alexander K-8 School • Constructed in 2000 • Philadelphia Water Department • Reducing Volume to Combined Sewers • Urban Green Space: • Porous Playground • Playfield with Stormwater Bed Below • Rain Gardens • Education
  14. 14. Stormwater Infiltration Below Playfield • Roof Leaders from Building to Bed • Old Urban Fill • Infiltration to Reduce Volume • Urban Green Space Sadie Alexander School, Philadelphia
  15. 15. Rain Gardens • Education • Access • Infiltration • Urban Green Space Porous Pavement Playground (no puddles!)
  16. 16. Rain Gardens Rainwater can support the landscape and soils, reducing pipes and basins.
  17. 17. Porous Paving with Infiltration Same Detail Can be Used with Standard Paving with Infiltration
  18. 18. Porous Asphalt Walkways Swarthmore College Grey Towers National Forest Service
  19. 19. Greening Greenfield School
  20. 20. New Porous walk Construction of Vegetated Swale
  21. 21.  Before Removal of Pavement to Create Stormwater Swale After 
  22. 22. Capture of 1-inch rainfall plus green space, education, and new play areas.
  23. 23. Independence Charter School Porous Asphalt, Stormwater Cobble Swale to Rain Garden Swale to bioretention area  Before
  24. 24. Independence Charter School
  25. 25. Waterview Recreation Center Downspout Planter Boxes
  26. 26. Before After  Before After 
  27. 27. Passyunk Avenue • Busy dirty street
  28. 28. Overflow water exits to an inlet Bio-retention Water from the street enters through a trench drain
  29. 29. Clark Park • Constructed in 2007 • Philadelphia Water Department & PA Horticultural Society • Infiltration Bed under Asphalt Basketball Court
  30. 30. Stone Infiltration Bed • Captures 1.5” of Water from Street, Parking Lot, and Sidewalks
  31. 31. Street inlet designed with water quality insert and sump to prevent debris and sediment from clogging infiltration bed.
  32. 32. Finished Basketball Court with Subsurface Infiltration Bed
  33. 33. Porous Asphalt Portland Porous Streets Porous Concrete Porous Pavers
  34. 34. East Falls: Complete Streets
  35. 35. Rendering by Andropogon Associates
  36. 36. Rendering by Andropogon Associates
  37. 37. Commercial and Parking Lot: Urban Grocery Store in Wilmington • City and Delaware Horticultural partnership • Urban Heat Island Cooling • Capture 1” from Street and Store
  38. 38. Bioswales and Rain Gardens for Parking Lot water Tree Trenches collect street water
  39. 39. West Hollywood Porous Pavement – Existing Site
  40. 40. Planter Box (Variation on Bioretention) Wilmington Library
  41. 41. Also Bioretention and Storage for Irrigation
  42. 42. At the Residential Level: Downspout Disconnection Disconnect downspout from combined sanitary sewer system •Portland, OR •Chicago, IL •Boston, MA •Minneapolis, MN •Bremerton, WA •Lynchburg, VA •Pittsburgh Nine Mile Run! •Pittsburgh: Nine Mile Run!
  43. 43. Portland, Oregon • Elimination of 94% of overflows to Willamette River by 2011 • > 44,000 disconnected downspouts (>1 BGY stormwater) • Residents can do work themselves and earn $53 per downspout • Community groups earn $13 per downspout
  44. 44. Where Does The Water Go? • Lawns • Other pervious surfaces • Vegetative swales • Rain gardens • Infiltration trenches • Rain barrels Boston Disconnect Program
  45. 45. New Residential: Village at Springbrook • High Density Residential • 59 acres • 269 homes: • 146 Townhouses • 96 Quads • 17 Singles • Sinkholes and limestone Can Water be Managed within the landscape?127 small measures, no detention basins.
  46. 46. • Each home manages its own runoff in a Rain Garden seepage bed, located in the right-of-way.
  47. 47. Pervious Pavements Paths Patios, Terraces, Courtyards Driveways
  48. 48. At the Residential Level: Rain Barrels
  49. 49. Infiltration Trench – “leaky pipe”
  50. 50. A Private Retreat Philadelphia PA The property Wissahickon Creek in Fairmount Park Schuylkill River
  51. 51. The Plan Lawn Patio Compost N Existing Vegetable Garden Meadow Table & chairs Bird Feeders Compost Rain Garden Gathering Garden N Street Trees Proposed
  52. 52. The Street Street trees were obtained through Philadelphia Green & the WNCA Tree Tenders
  53. 53. From Lawn to Meadow NATURAL AREA Meadow Development in Progress Roxborough Habitat Restoration Project Beautiful Meadow Coming to your Neighborhood! After Brown Thrasher Before Before After After
  54. 54. The Rain Garden Lawn Patio Compost Existing Infiltration area under bluestone Final treatment Planted swale Proposed
  55. 55. Rain Garden and Swale Location Before
  56. 56. A Private Retreat Infiltration bed Planted Swale
  57. 57. Rain Chains, Spash blocks
  58. 58. Restoring Panther Hollow – Restoring the Watershed

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