A rain garden captures rainfall runoff

Oregon’s Willamette Valley is known for our rain—we receive an average of 40 inches of rain a year. In a rural environment, soil and plants would absorb most of that. But in the city, streets, buildings and parking lots cover the ground.

Stormwater over hard surfaces carries dirt, oil and pollutants

Rain washes over urban hard surfaces and becomes stormwater. Stormwater runoff carries dirt, oil and other pollutants to rivers and streams.

Unmanaged stormwater can create two major issues: one is flooding and the other is the potential contaminants the water is carrying. That polluted runoff can end up in nearby streams and rivers.

Common pollutants include oil and grease from roadways, pesticides from lawns, pet waste, sediment from construction sites, and discarded trash such as cigarette butts. These pollutants can damage waterways, spoil recreational use, contaminate drinking water, and interfere with habitats of fish and wildlife.

A rain garden imitates nature

In a natural environment, vegetation, streams and open land absorb more of the water from excess rainfall. As you can see by the diagram, with natural ground cover there is 25% shallow infiltration and another 25% of deep infiltration. Water soaks into the ground to nourish deep rooted trees and shallow rooted plants. And rainfall runoff is only 10%.

However, in an urban environment where most of the ground is covered in hard, impervious surfaces, infiltration is significantly reduced and run off is much higher, up to 55%.

A well-designed stormwater system, whether it’s a rain garden, bioswale, vegetated filter strip or dry detention basin, uses the principles of nature by creating a low area where water can drain, and layering soil, gravel and specific plantings to filter the rainwater and clean out most pollutants.

Public rain garden systems must meet local codes

One of the federal Clean Water Act’s goals is to improve water quality by reducing pollutants in stormwater. As a result, to comply with EPA mandates, most counties and cities have established specific codes for new rain garden/stormwater runoff systems on all new commercial or industrial projects.

Rain garden design and installation

Here at EarthTech Landscape Solutions we’re doing our part as stewards of the environment. We’ve studied all the new codes and regulations and successfully installed more than 79+ stormwater systems in 17+ commercial landscaping projects throughout Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley.

We’re creating more eco-friendly ways to design, install and maintain commercial landscapes. We’re always going above and beyond to implement processes which support our environment.

The environment is where we live, eat and breathe. We make a conscious effort to protect it and add to its beauty and splendor.

Stormwater System Codes

Commercial Landscaping

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