North Carolina Cooperative Extension Backyard Rain Garden Program: Lessons Learned   Mitch Woodward, Charles Humphrey, Bil...
Goal:  Pushing Back the Frontiers of Stormwater - Ignorance
Raingardens slow water runoff and improve water quality
Rainfall Rice Creek Watershed District Storage Infiltration
Rain Gardens Can Be Welcome Additions to Landscapes!!!
Design Principles of Rain Gardens <ul><li>Handles stormwater  at its source .  </li></ul><ul><li>Decreases the velocity  o...
Rain garden benefits <ul><li>Add beauty (and value) to your property </li></ul><ul><li>Minimizing rainwater runoff to stor...
NCSU 7 Pilot Counties Funding Provided by 319
Match $$$ provided by involving County Extension Agents $ ….. I’m just matching funds to you, aren’t  I?
Target: Homeowners <ul><li>Homeowner Workshops - ‘How To’ Rain Garden  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stormwater Management  </li><...
Homeowner Education:  Garden Location & Installation <ul><li>Where does water flow ? </li></ul><ul><li>Where does water tr...
Site Visits and Data Collection <ul><li>Source and path of stormwater  </li></ul><ul><li>Size of impervious surfaces </li>...
Soil Evaluation
Be Aware of Clay Soils!
If drains less than 1 hour = too fast and plants won’t establish If drains more than 48-72 hours = too wet !  Backyard wet...
412 Simerville Edward Baker PROBLEM:  Water drains directly from roof and lot into pipes, without opportunity for treatmen...
Sizing Chart 5 % Impermeable Surface Area Rain Garden Size Potential Rain  Garden Dimensions (ftXft) 800 ft 2 40 ft 2 4X10...
Rain Garden Installations
Raleigh Rated as ‘Good’ Day of Installation + 18 Months
Raleigh #2 <ul><li>Fair Condition </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance issues persist! </li></ul>Day of Installation + 3 years
Cary <ul><li>Fair </li></ul><ul><li>Continues to work well </li></ul>Fall After Installation After 1 year, 2 inch rain
Durham Museum of Life and Science <ul><li>Fair   </li></ul><ul><li>Great Demonstration Site </li></ul>Day of Installation ...
Project Results <ul><li>60+ Gardens treat 1 ac impervious surface </li></ul><ul><li>Nitrogen removed over next 20 yrs </li...
What didn’t work
Minor Mishaps
Failures
Summary of Preliminary Analysis of Raingarden Condition.   Rain gardener Type Rain garden Condition*______ Good Fair Failu...
Rain Gardens Maintenance Issues 2 Years after Installation.    Maintenance Issue Number of Rain gardens Affected   Berm / ...
www.bae.ncsu.edu/topic/raingarden
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Urban Water Quality Issues North Carolina Cooperative Extension Backyard Rain Garden Program: Lessons Learned

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Mitch Woodward, Charles Humphrey, Bill Lord, Dwane Jones, Bill Hunt, Kelly Collins, Lara Rozzell, Wendi Hartup, Charlotte Glen

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Urban Water Quality Issues North Carolina Cooperative Extension Backyard Rain Garden Program: Lessons Learned

  1. 1. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Backyard Rain Garden Program: Lessons Learned Mitch Woodward, Charles Humphrey, Bill Lord, Dwane Jones, Bill Hunt, Kelly Collins, Lara Rozzell, Wendi Hartup, Charlotte Glen
  2. 2. Goal: Pushing Back the Frontiers of Stormwater - Ignorance
  3. 3. Raingardens slow water runoff and improve water quality
  4. 4. Rainfall Rice Creek Watershed District Storage Infiltration
  5. 5. Rain Gardens Can Be Welcome Additions to Landscapes!!!
  6. 6. Design Principles of Rain Gardens <ul><li>Handles stormwater at its source . </li></ul><ul><li>Decreases the velocity of water flowing from impervious surfaces. </li></ul><ul><li>Improves water quality before it enters the stream or ditch. </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps water on the surface aiding infiltration Cost effective (average $2-$3 per sq ft) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Rain garden benefits <ul><li>Add beauty (and value) to your property </li></ul><ul><li>Minimizing rainwater runoff to storm drains or streams while allowing excess rainwater to filter slowly into the soil </li></ul><ul><li>Protecting our valuable water resources </li></ul><ul><li>Provide wildlife habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptable to other community problem areas </li></ul>
  8. 8. NCSU 7 Pilot Counties Funding Provided by 319
  9. 9. Match $$$ provided by involving County Extension Agents $ ….. I’m just matching funds to you, aren’t I?
  10. 10. Target: Homeowners <ul><li>Homeowner Workshops - ‘How To’ Rain Garden </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stormwater Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to Build </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which Plants Work Best </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance Issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rain Garden Events with Sign Up </li></ul><ul><li>Site visits and data collection </li></ul><ul><li>Installation Cost-Share Offered </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up to see maintenance issues and healthy plants </li></ul>
  11. 11. Homeowner Education: Garden Location & Installation <ul><li>Where does water flow ? </li></ul><ul><li>Where does water travel or collect? </li></ul>Observe your yard during a rainfall event
  12. 12. Site Visits and Data Collection <ul><li>Source and path of stormwater </li></ul><ul><li>Size of impervious surfaces </li></ul><ul><li>Soils type (sandy, clayey, rocky or mixed) </li></ul><ul><li>Proximity to wells, foundations, septic systems </li></ul><ul><li>Existing landscape features </li></ul>
  13. 13. Soil Evaluation
  14. 14. Be Aware of Clay Soils!
  15. 15. If drains less than 1 hour = too fast and plants won’t establish If drains more than 48-72 hours = too wet ! Backyard wetland?
  16. 16. 412 Simerville Edward Baker PROBLEM: Water drains directly from roof and lot into pipes, without opportunity for treatment or infiltration. SOLUTION: This lot is the ideal location for a rain garden, 1) Enhance water treatment capacity by excavating existing native soil and replace w/ high permeability soil. 2) Carefully manage irrigation system to maintain a dryer soil to avoid rain runoff.
  17. 17. Sizing Chart 5 % Impermeable Surface Area Rain Garden Size Potential Rain Garden Dimensions (ftXft) 800 ft 2 40 ft 2 4X10, 5X8, 6X7 1000 ft 2 50 ft 2 5X10, 6X8 1200 ft 2 60 ft 2 4X15, 5X12, 6X10, 8X8 1400 ft 2 70 ft 2 5X14, 7X10 1600 ft 2 80 ft 2 7X12, 8X10, 9X9 1800 ft 2 90 ft 2 6X15, 7X13, 8X12, 9X10
  18. 18. Rain Garden Installations
  19. 19. Raleigh Rated as ‘Good’ Day of Installation + 18 Months
  20. 20. Raleigh #2 <ul><li>Fair Condition </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance issues persist! </li></ul>Day of Installation + 3 years
  21. 21. Cary <ul><li>Fair </li></ul><ul><li>Continues to work well </li></ul>Fall After Installation After 1 year, 2 inch rain
  22. 22. Durham Museum of Life and Science <ul><li>Fair </li></ul><ul><li>Great Demonstration Site </li></ul>Day of Installation + 18 Months
  23. 23. Project Results <ul><li>60+ Gardens treat 1 ac impervious surface </li></ul><ul><li>Nitrogen removed over next 20 yrs </li></ul><ul><li>13 Workshops -11 Homeowner, 2 Master Gardener </li></ul><ul><li>Created Local Expertise: Agents - Master Gardener Trainings </li></ul><ul><li>Landscaper Trainings </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrations at Fairs and Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Increased local Interest / Installations </li></ul><ul><li>Strong Website Support </li></ul><ul><li>Future opportunities = LID </li></ul>
  24. 24. What didn’t work
  25. 25. Minor Mishaps
  26. 26. Failures
  27. 27. 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 Connection 4 4 To Resource Flooding 2 3 Issues   Required by Law 8 15 8**   Educators / Schools 1 5 *Good: Maintained well, functioning as designed. Fair: Maintenance not evident, still provide some treatment Failure: Not maintained, not functioning.
  28. 28. 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  
  29. 29. www.bae.ncsu.edu/topic/raingarden

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