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Rain gardens for homeowners

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Rain gardens for homeowners

  1. 1. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Backyard Rain Garden Program Mitch Woodward, Charles Humphrey, Bill Lord, Dwane Jones, Bill Hunt, Kelly Collins, Lara Rozzell, Wendi Hartup, Charlotte Glen
  2. 2. Goal: Seeing roof and yard runoff as resource rather than waste product
  3. 3. Raingardens slow water runoff and improve water quality
  4. 4. Development Impacts on the Water C ycle 10% 55% 50% 15% Credit: NCSU
  5. 5. Rainfall Storage Infiltration Rice Creek Watershed District
  6. 6. Rain Gardens Can Be Welcome Additions to Landscapes!!!
  7. 7. Design Principles of Rain Gardens • Handles stormwater at its source. • Decreases the velocity of water flowing from impervious surfaces. • Improves water quality before it enters the stream or ditch. • Facilitates infiltration • Beautiful
  8. 8. Rain garden benefits •Add beauty (and value) to your property •Minimizing rainwater runoff to storm drains or streams while allowing excess rainwater to filter slowly into the soil •Protecting our valuable water resources •Provide wildlife habitat •Adaptable in scale and land use
  9. 9. Match $$$ provided by involving County Extension Agents …..I’m just $ matching funds to you, aren’t I?
  10. 10. Garden Location & Installation Observe your yard during a rainfall event • Where does water travel or collect?
  11. 11. Rain garden planning •Source and path of stormwater •Size of impervious surfaces •Soils type (sandy, clayey, rocky or mixed) •Proximity to wells, foundations, septic systems •Existing landscape features
  12. 12. Soil Evaluation
  13. 13. Be Aware of Clay Soils!
  14. 14. If drains less than 1 hour = too fast and plants won’t establish If drains more than 48-72 hours = too wet ! Backyard wetland?
  15. 15. Rain Garden Installations
  16. 16. Raleigh Day of Installation + 18 Months Rated as ‘Good’
  17. 17. Cary Fall After Installation After 1 year, 2 inch rain • Fair • Continues to work well
  18. 18. Durham Museum of Life and Science Day of Installation + 18 Months • Fair • Great Demonstration Site
  19. 19. Town Hall
  20. 20. Baldwin Park
  21. 21. Failures
  22. 22. Summary of Preliminary Analysis of Raingarden Condition. Rain gardener Type Rain garden Condition*______ Good Fair Failure Avid 10 3 1 Gardener Environmentalist 2 7 Direct *Good: Maintained well, Connection 4 4 functioning as designed. To Resource Fair: Maintenance not Flooding 2 3 evident, still provide some treatment Issues Failure: Not maintained, not Required by functioning. Law 8 15 8** Educators / Schools 1 5
  23. 23. Rain Gardens Maintenance Issues 2 Years after Installation. Maintenance Issue Number of Rain gardens Affected Berm / Weir Failure 6 Plants / Planting 49 Soils / Drainage 10 Sedimentation / 8** Clogging Mulching 38 General Neglect / Abandoned 9
  24. 24. www.bae.ncsu.edu/topic/raingarden

Editor's Notes

  • Mitch Woodward, Area Specialized Agent [email_address] Wake County 4001-E Carya Dr Raleigh, NC 27610-2914 (919) 250-1112
  • When rain falls on a natural environment it can either soak into the soil or it can runoff into the surface water. The remaining percent of rainfall is intercepted by trees, crops, grass, and other ground cover that serves to dissipate much of the energy contained within each raindrop. The water can then re-evaporate back into the atmosphere, or slowly infiltrate into the ground. The infiltrated water eventually reaches groundwater, which slowly travels through the soil back into local waterbodies. As the water infiltrates and flows, it is cleaned of any pollutants it may have collected along its journey from the atmosphere into the ground. Unfortunately, with increased urbanization, the rain encounters more and more concrete and other hardened surfaces which do not allow for infiltration of water into the soil.
  • Rain gardens vary in shape and design. The options are numerous with lots of plant varieties that can be incorporated.
  • The benefits of a rain garden are numerous!
  • Look around your yard for low areas where water may collect after big storm events.
  • Rain gardens work best when constructed in well-drained or sandy soils, but they can also be installed on sites with less permeable soils such as clays. By digging a hole at the rain garden site, the soil can be examined.
  • Fill a hole with water to observe infiltration. If water does not drain within 2 days of no rainfall, a backyard wetland may be best.
  • Collected checklist data of where to look
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