An upscale neighborhood in Hinsdale, IL has drainage problems and is considering stormwater green infrastructure (GI) solutions. The neighborhood has been around for decades, but the development boom resulted in many new LARGE houses and associated impervious surface. Now the residents have to agree to a special tax to take care of runoff issues. I found this news account (Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Patch) of how GI is being sold to be interesting:
Under the improvements that would be installed in three phases over the next six years, rain gardens and bioswales—two methods of absorbing stormwater and directing it to natural underground seams—would be installed along the public rights of way in the area. Creech said these gardens will be “tucked in between” the road and residents’ front yards.
Though rain gardens have a reputation for appearing weedy and unattractive, those installed in Woodlands would feature prairie-style, aesthetically pleasing plants.
“For this particular development, the character of the planting is going to be more formal,” Creech said.
Tanks below the rain gardens will collect stormwater and control its distribution back into the underground water seams, according to Creech, making the project environmentally responsible, or “green.”
“We’re just attempting to direct that [water] into the subsurface seam sooner just to take it off the surface,” Creech said.
Underground water seams? And neat and tidy rain gardens. Should be interesting. But it is a green solution, and indicative of the challenge of educating homeowners. Altering their aesthetic expectations also might have to be part of this exercise.