Construction of the Roadside Raingardens project in Ballard is scheduled to begin in a few weeks. A total of 77 households will have gardens planted on the city-owned planting strip in front of their property, featuring a variety of plants and trees whose root structure is designed to hold stormwater long enough to absorb into the soil instead of pouring into combined sewer/stormwater pipes.
An example of a roadside raingarden along Linden Ave N in Seattle
Seattle Public Utilities employees were on hand during the final community planning meeting on May 12 to address any last concerns from residents affected by the project.
“It’s a new approach to dealing with sewers,” said SPU project manager Karen York. She said the area has an average of 12 Combined Sewer Overflows per year, when the federal EPA requires an average of one. CSOs happen in older areas of Seattle where sewer and stormwater lines are combined, and during large storms they will sometimes overflow into Puget Sound to prevent sewer backups into people’s homes.