Karen Sands, WFB resident and Manager of Sustainability for MMSD discussed the work being dine by MMSD and their goals for the community.
MMSD has mapped out 28 communities where they need to manage “out of banks” flooding. WFB has separate lines for storm water and sanitary water.
1 We need to filter polluted storm water runoff. The storm water picks up pollutants from roofs, lawns, and roads. Rain gardens can help filter all of this
2 Infiltrate sump pump discharges. In winter, (and all year), water drains to rain gardens, snow melts and absorbs into the ground rather than running off into sewer systems.
3 Hold storm water away from possibly leaky sanitary pipes. Possible cracks in laterals from old age, tree roots. Build rain gardens away from laterals. Water infiltration can be up to 50/gal per minute when it rains.
4 MMSD has a goal of filtering 740 million gallons of water through rain gardens, rain barrels, porous parking lots, and creating other permeable surfaces.
Aaron Jahncke, Asst. Village Engineer, discussed programs, plans and rebates being developed by the village. In 2012 -2013 WFB Village developed aerial maps showing impervious areas and a new assessment was created. However, they also have rebate programs for rain gardens, based on their size, and rain barrels. Brochures and manuals are both on the WFB village website.
WFB also plans to buy rain barrels in bulk and deliver to residents next year. The Village can also assist with site selection for rain gardens.
Marion Boelter, Master Gardener, discussed Rain Garden Siting and plants to be used.
Rain Garden siting Determined by:
Where the water flows across the lawn
Where sump pump discharges
And selecting an area to hold the water that is away from the sanitary laterals (10’ is best), and the house foundation
Size the garden based on soil factors and drainage area size.
There is a brochure available from www.learningstore.uwex.edu.
Prairie Nursery in Westfield WI is another good source and has a catalogue. www.prairienursery.com
Also be sure to call diggers hotline before starting
Rain gardens should hold water for 2-3 days at most after rain. Do a soil test and determine the soil type and texture. Then, select plants for the site conditions…sun, shade, and partial sun. Use native plants whenever possible and have 50% of the area include grasses, sedges, and bushes for good root development. Plant on a grid of 1 plant per square foot and place grasses every 2’ with flowers in between. If the area is large enough, plant in masses of 5 or 7 plants. Include specimen plants for interest. Consider plant height, plant characteristics and type of soil when deciding which plants to use and where to place them.
The Lawn and Garden Tips page is updated by members of the Whitefish Bay Garden Club.