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RAIN GARDEN AND BIORETENTION

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Rain gardens and bio-retention facilities use a combination of soil and plant material to capture and treat stormwater. Bio-retention facilities are engineered to treat and manage a specific amount of stormwater and have exact design criteria to ensure they function according to the design intent. Rain gardens are typically smaller systems that do not require engineering. They feature a planted or rock-based depression, designed to provide temporary rainwater storage and filter runoff. These are typically cost effective and easy to maintain options for both private and public land. 

COMPATIBILITY

  • Often used in conjunction with infiltration trenches and swales

 

MAINTENANCE

  • Water should not stand in a rain garden longer than 48 hours and should not interfere with any neighbouring properties
  • Pruning, weeding, and mowing should be carried out as needed, but primarily in the spring and fall
  • Using native vegetation that thrives in the local conditions will reduce maintenance requirements
  • New vegetation may require additional watering while its roots establish
  • Removal of built up leaf litter and sediment, annually
  • Checking for signs of erosion will ensure runoff and prevent clogging, annually and after heavy rainfall

 

COSTS

  • Installation costs of bio-retention features can vary depending on the size, vegetation, and design of the feature
  • Rain gardens can be implemented through affordable do-it-yourself projects
  • Cost summaries from various municipal programs (US and Canada) can be retrieved from Green Values

 

RESOURCES


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