Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Monday, October 20, 2014

Don't rain in my bio-swale...

...because I don't know if it really works!!!


Lake Oswego has been encouraging property owners to put bio-swales in all over town as a substitute for standard storm drainage systems.  Why?  If engineers at the OSU School of Civil and Construction Engineering don't know,  are we doing this because it is "a good idea" and "they do good things?"

The next time someone in government tells you something is a good idea, ask for the proof!

Daily Journal of Commerce

Corvallis rain garden becomes laboratory

Oregon State University and Benton County recently hosted a grand opening for a new rain garden in Corvallis. (Oregon BEST)

A rain garden completed recently near the Benton County Community Development Department in Corvallis does more than treat stormwater. It also serves as an outdoor laboratory.
The lab provides a rare field testing opportunity for Oregon State University researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of bio-swales and other green infrastructure to treat stormwater.
“You want to actually go and test them at the field scale,” said Meghna Babbar-Sebens, an assistant professor with the OSU School of Civil and Construction Engineering. “The main idea was to enable that kind of testing.”
Babbar-Sebens is leading research at the OSU-Benton County Stormwater Infrastructure Research Facility. Benton County contributed money and land for the $126,000 demonstration project, which will filter runoff from a 100,000-square-foot portion of a county industrial yard where equipment for parks and roads maintenance is stored. Other funders include Oregon BEST, the city of Corvallis and the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium.
Benton County officials were seeking an alternative to traditional piped stormwater treatment at the site and pleased to also offer a green infrastructure research opportunity in a public location, said Adam Stebbins, a county project coordinator.
We don’t have a good idea how these things work. We just know they do good things,” he said. “We want to support and see what type of treatment is occurring, what the positive impacts are and share that with the community.”

1 comment:

  1. Lake Oswego called the Tenth St project a "green street demonstration" project but when we asked the City Engineer how they were going to benchmark the project and what evaluation criteria would be applied to measure the project results we got a similar answer. "We don't know how to evaluate the results, but we know it's a good thing." I believe that green streets can be both an environmentally and cost effective alternative to piping storm water, soil conditions permitting, but the engineers have to do a better job of quantifying the benefits.