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Rain Gardens

Do you want or need a rain garden? Here's how to start.

Rain gardens, one aspect of bioretention, can be beautiful. They are a way to potentially increase property values, avoid flooding, attract pollinators and other backyard friendly creatures, clean water, and add to one’s sense of community and beauty. They are used not only in residential areas, but in commercial and industrial developments as well.

The facility collects stormwater from roads and rooftops in a large cistern (approx. 11,356 liters, or 3000 gallons) allowing for the application of stormwater at various hydraulic and pollutant loads. Unlike typical rain gardens, all of the research rain gardens are fully lined with a pond liner as well as instrumented to continuously monitor flow and water quality treatment. 

During targeted rain events, stormwater is distributed by gravity from the cistern through weirs at known volumes to the rain gardens. Each rain garden has a vertical under-drain that can be adjusted to a desired depth per research objectives.

Between storms, dead storage in the tank can be used to mix synthetic stormwater mixtures and dose the rain gardens with desired volumes and pollutant concentrations. The flexibility of the collection and delivery system allows for the application of various pollutants of concern as scientists and agencies in the region determine research needs.