2011’s First Issue of the Rain Gardener

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

This year’s first issue of our quarterly newsletter is posted below in PDF:

Newsletter_vol2issue1

Wow! Great news! Our flow meter and rain gauge data is showing that the residential and right-of-way gardens have reduced the amount of storm water in the Brook Run subdivisions by 60%! We were anticipating a 55% reduction based on the amount of impervious surface. Infiltration rates should increase every year as the plants continue to flourish. We’re very excited to get such great data!

Fourth issue of The Rain Gardener

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Our fourth issue of our quarterly newsletter is posted below.

Newsletter_vol1issue4

Water tests & gardens successful

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

All 5 right-of-way rain gardens are complete in the Brook Run neighborhood. They have received a small amount of sod to help filter out sediments and stone to help direct the water. Residents have already observed the rain gardens working from a couple small rains.

Yesterday, Franklin Soil and Water, OSU, and Westerville performed tests to help calibrate the flow meters in the storm water system and recorded data from the pressure transducers in the sampling wells. During the testing, water was sent down the street and into one of the gardens. In one of the 3-chambered gardens, water filled up in the first chamber to 3″, overflow was directed to the next chamber, and a small amount flowed into the third chamber. After about half an hour, the 3″ ponding water had drained completely through the garden.

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Right-of-way gardens update

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Three of the five right-of-way rain gardens were finished being planted today. The slopes of the sides were seeded, and curb cuts are being finished up. The next two will be planted, then the gardens will receive a small sod planting to help filter sediment as storm water enters the gardens from the roadway. The white pipes in the gardens are sampling wells to monitor the level of water that enters the garden, and they will each have a pressure transducer in the bottom of those wells to help gather the information. The gardens should all be completed by mid next week!

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Brook Run right-of-way rain gardens

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Excavation, curb cutting, and soil replacing have begun for the right-of-way rain gardens in the Brook Run neighborhood in Westerville. Each garden will have a topsoil/compost mix added to replace the poor soil that was in the right-of-way area. Each rain garden will collect road drainage that normally runs directly to the storm water system that leads to the nearby creek.  The rain garden preparation should be completed this week, then planting will start next week.

The City of Westerville, Watershed Organic Lawn Care, and Tamarack Excavating, Inc. are carrying out the curb cuts, soil preparation, and excavation, respectively. The Franklin County Master Gardeners have volunteered to help maintain the gardens after they are finished.

This aspect of the project is funded through a Research Grant from the Ohio Water Development Authority, with The Ohio State University and Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District as the co-applicants. .

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Third issue of the Rain Gardener

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Our third issue of our quarterly newsletter is posted below.

Newsletter_vol1issue3

As of Friday July 23rd, all of the residential rain gardens are complete. The downspouts were unhooked from the storm water system in the neighborhood and directed into the gardens. Monarchs have already been seen on some of the wildflowers!

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The next step in the project is to install the rain gardens in the right-of-way areas throughout the neighborhood. There will be 6 rain gardens that collect storm water runoff from the roadways (which also contains the rest of the downspouts that weren’t added into the residential gardens). Construction should begin in the next couple weeks.

Monitoring has been a challenge, however 3 v-notched weirs will be installed in the main outlet, the cul-de-sac outlet, and the control neighborhood outlet to coincide with the installation of the right-of-way rain gardens. The hope is to establish a definitive reduction of storm water runoff through the use of rain gardens by comparing data from the control neighborhood. Other monitoring tools will be used in the right-of-way gardens, such as pressure transducer and lysimeter-type instrumentation.

Disconnecting the downspouts

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

As of Saturday, all of the rain gardens in Brook Run have been planted! The landscaper is working on disconnecting the downspouts that lead to each of the gardens. Each grate/riser on the pipe leading into the gardens has a small screw that the homeowner can remove if they need to get into the pipe to clean it out. Each grate/riser is covered with stone for aesthetics, as well as helping to slow and spread out water coming into the garden.

 The last baseline data was collected before the disconnections, and all water quantity data moving forward should reflect the reduction in storm water leading to the storm water system. Disconnections will continue today and into next week.

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Rain garden plantings in Brook Run

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Eight rain gardens have been planted as of this morning in the Brook Run neighborhood rain garden project. Three to five more rain gardens are slated to be planted today, and the landscapers are working tirelessly in the scorching heat. Residents will need to water the rain gardens to help them get established and offset the rapid water loss with the warm weather. All gardens should be finished this week, and the next step is to disconnect the downspouts into the gardens. Fortunately, this step can be completed regardless of weather.

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