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Nature-friendly solution

Posted: Friday, Sep 17th, 2010

Crews install a demonstration rain garden on the south side of Newport City Hall this week. The garden will filter water runoff from about 5,000 square feet of roof area into the ground, keeping it out of the city’s stormwater drain system. Water running off the streets into the drains is discharged directly into local streams, carrying insecticides, oil and other pollutants with it. (Photo by Larry Coonrod)

Newport City Hall installs demonstration rain garden

Down comes the rain and with it go insecticides, oil, trash and just about every other yucky thing lying on the streets straight into local streams and the ocean through the stormwater drain system.

Thanks to a partnership with the Surfrider Foundation, the Lincoln County Soil & Water District and the City of Newport, there will be significantly less runoff from Newport City Hall fouling the local watershed.

After a year of talks and planning, city employees broke ground on a rain garden on the south side of the city hall building this week. Rainwater from about 5,000 square feet of roof will be filtered by soil and nourish a bounty of plants before being absorbed into the aquifer.

“City hall is a great venue for demonstrating the benefits of a rain garden,” said Stacy Polkowkse, LCSWD watershed technical specialist.

City Engineer Lee Ritzman said, “We support the idea. It will filter the water and, in a heavy storm surge, at least delay the water getting into our drain system.”

Contrary to what many believe, water entering the storm drain system, whether it be from rain or someone washing a vehicle, is not cleaned at a water processing plant before it is discharged.

The watershed district hopes the rain garden will inspire businesses and homeowners to install rain gardens.

For the complete article see the 09-17-2010 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-17-2010 paper.

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