A Triple-Duty Rain Garden on Camano Island

The crew begins the digging out process.

The crew begins the digging out process.

Our Vet Crew gets their mileage in constructing projects all around Snohomish County. Recently, they made the trip out to Camano Island to help a homeowner with their drainage issues.

Hillsides can help create views for many up and down the hillside, but sometimes being on the lower part of a slope can be a stormwater runoff nightmare. One way to remediate some of these water issues is with a rain garden.

On a typical wet day in the Pacific Northwest, this homeowner would have water sheeting across her driveway. To redirect the flow of water, the Vet Crew created a berm to guide rainfall away from her home and driveway into a vertical underdrain-dry well that they constructed. The vertical underdrain-dry well has a grate at the top and sits just below the ground level, collecting surface water when it rains. Once the dry well starts to fill up, it flows into an underground pipe that connects straight into the rain garden in the backyard.

This rain garden is doing triple duty, filtering water from three different sources: rainwater from the sky, runoff from the roof, and surface water from the uphill slope. Once the water is in the rain garden, it will be taken up by the plants, filtered by the imported bioretention soil, and eventually soak back into the native soil.

Only time will tell if this solution will be able to manage all of this propertyโ€™s drainage issues. For now, the Snohomish Conservation District is happy to work with homeowners like this who are willing to try new, environmentally friendly solutions to keep their property dry and functional!