City of Talent Oregon / Public Works / Stormwater

Stormwater

Stormwater management strategies are created and utilized by governments and regulatory agencies to direct stormwater runoff away from impervious surfaces (such as roofs and parking lots), back to the local watershed. Typical objectives include: preventing flooding, contamination and pooling where water could pose a public vector control/disease issue.
 
Historically, stormwater management strategies diverted the runoff from impervious surface areas directly into pipes and aqueducts. From there, the polluted, untreated runoff was rapidly flushed into local creeks and rivers. These systems are prone to flooding when blockages occur because very little water is absorbed while in transit and a high rate of water flow leaves little time for mitigation.
 
Low Impact Development (LID) is a stormwater management approach designed to emulate the beneficial elements of natural drainage systems (wetlands, ponds, etc.). Also known as Green Infrastructure, LID facilities collect stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces, the runoff is directed in shallow depressions that contain permeable surfaces. These areas typically contain some combination of: soil, various sized rocks, erosion control netting and vegetation. The permeable surfaces and vegetation absorb water, capture harmful microbes and pollutants found in stormwater runoff.
 
From the LID facility, stormwater runoff is gravitationally directed to a conventional storm sewer system, partially treated and delivered to the local stream at a more gradual rate than impervious stormwater conveyance systems. LID sites have the added benefit of providing aesthetic value and possible habitat for native wildlife. 
 
Bioswale and curb-cuts at Oregon Shakespeare Festival
OSF Bioswale
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival parking lot is sloped and directs stormwater runoff into the bioswale via curb-cuts. The vegetation, gravel and fiber rolls in the bioswale help stabilize soils, improve the quality and reduce the quantity of waters entering nearby storm drains. This is important because these drains lead to our creeks, where contaminants and turbid water cause harm to fish and other aquatic life.

Click here to see more local LID examples, courtesy of Rogue Valley Sewer Services (RVSS).