Rain Gardens and Bioswales

Rain Gardens and Bioswales

Rain gardens and bioswales have now become more popular options when designing storm water solutions to treat run-off from residential developments, parking lots, and industrial lots.

All-Terrain Consulting Ltd. designs rain gardens and bioswales for the Greater Vancouver area of B.C. A rain garden is defined as a planted depression that allows rainwater run-off from impervious urban areas, like rooks, driveways, walkways, parking lots, and compacted lawn areas, the opportunity to be absorbed. This reduces rain run-off by allowing stormwater to soak into the ground (as opposed to flowing into storm drains and surface water which causes erosion, water pollution, flooding, and diminished groundwater).

Rain gardens can be designed for specific soils and climates. The ultimate goal of a rain garden is to improve water quality in nearby bodies of water and help cut down on the amount of pollutants reaching watercourses and other bodies of water. Rain gardens are planted with native species to that area because they generally require no fertilizer, and are more tolerant for the climatic conditions, as well as attracting local wildlife such as native birds.

Bioswales are useful where more water run-off is expected, and a potential higher amount of pollutants. Bioswales are essentially landscaped ditches which are designed to remove silt and pollution from surface water run-off. Bioswales have gently sloped sides, and are filled with vegetation, compost, and/or rip-rap. The water’s flow path, along with the wide and shallow ditch, is designed to maximize the amount of time the water spends in the bioswale, which helps trap the pollutants and silt. A common application for a bioswale is around parking lots, where substantial vehicle pollution is collected by the asphalt and then flushed down the catch basins by rain. Bioswales can meander or be straight, and help treat run-off before releasing it to the environment.

All-Terrain Consulting Ltd. is experienced in the design of both rain gardens and bioswales for residential and industrial developments. Please call us if you would like us to help you with your stormwater treatment needs on one of your future projects.