Columbia Star

opinion

Rain gardens are a better solution for flooding in Five Points


It seems to me that the discussion of the creeks and storm drains not being able to handle stormwater is a bit like closing the gate after the cows are out. Thirty-two million dollars to fix a problem that is a watershed problem not a culvert/storm drain problem doesn’t make sense.

Too many impervious surfaces from roofs to parking lots and streets are the obvious culprits, and some good ideas were put forth such as pervious paving and green roofs, which should be incorporated in the plan.

The watershed must capture the water before it gets to the creeks and clean it! Many cities have gone to the raingarden concept and not only captured the water on site but cleaned it as well plus saving millions of dollars.

These landscaped depressions look beautiful, and the proper plants can tolerate the flooded condition (as well as a drier condition) while slowing the flow of stormwater to a seepage rather than a flood. Biological processes take care of toxic substances.

Even lawns, while better than paving, are not extremely efficient at absorbing stormwater. Trees, however, are extremely efficient at stabilizing water tables.

The city could save millions by incorporating rain gardens at key collecting places all over the Five Points watershed. Raingardens are lovely landscaped additions in the yards of private homes as well as businesses.

Also planting more trees will increase the number of natural areas which will act as “sponges” handling water as mother nature does. As a bonus, the trees and green roofs clean and cool the air! Manmade engineered solutions sometimes do not work quite as well as original natural solutions.

Charlene Nash,

aquatic horticulturist




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