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Rain Barrels & Retention Basins


Low Impact Development (LID) – Rain Garden, Retention Basin, Cistern 

Landscape practices for the home garden are increasingly being adapted to include Low Impact Development (LID) techniques. Sustainable landscape initiatives within the University of California Master Gardener Program, local municipal stormwater management practice initiatives, and consumer clientele interests all rely for success on the demonstration of and extension of information about these practices.  We are demonstrating the installation and maintenance of pertinent practices.  


LID techniques focus on distributing, storing, slowing, spreading and sinking rainwater within the property where it falls. A more technical definition might be, innovative storm water management, incorporating water conservation and water quality design practices, modeled after natural processes to manage rainfall. LID’s goal is to mimic a site’s predevelopment hydrology by using design techniques that infiltrate, filter, store, evaporate, and detain runoff close to its source.  The garden incorporates water conservation and water quality design practices including rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, retention basins and "boom-a-rang" berms in the orchard.  This development and installation provided opportunities for education programs for both municipalities and the consumer public in construction techniques for successful implementation of these practices. The Master Gardeners received a UCCE Elvenia J. Slosson Grant in 2009.  A special thank you for sharing your knowledge: Darla Inglis, Melanie Mills and Susan Litteral. 

During 2011 year we: 
1.  Held a series of three workshops for Planners, Developers, Builders, Regulators, Landscape Architects, Contractors & Designers. The dates and topics were: 
·        August 16, 4 p.m - Sustainable Stormwater/Low Impact Development Concepts, Site Assessment and Design, 
·        September 20, 4 p.m. - Soil and Vegetative Guidance for Sustainable Storm-water/Low Impact Development, and

·        October 18, 4 p.m. - Cisterns, Rain Barrels and Stormwater Planters. 
2.  Rain gutters were installed on the sheds, connected a cistern, footing for the cistern and installed flow thru system to the rain garden. 
3.  Completed the design for the Rain garden and retention pond. 
4.  Ran a percolation test for the rain garden. 
5.  Created a plant palate for the rain garden to meet local conditions 
6.  Purchased the plants and seed for installation 
7.  Completed all of the requirements of the UCCE Slosson Grant. 

Completed or plans for 2012 include:
  1. Broke ground on the rain garden – excavated and installed engineered soil.
  2. Filled the retention basin with engineered soil
  3. Install vegetation and monitoring equipment
  4. Hold an ATGB workshop on LID practices on Feb 18th
  5. Hold another workshop for Planners, Developers, Builders, Regulators, Landscape Architects, Contractors & Designers.
  6. Maintain practice installations
  7. Evaluate the engineered soil for supporting plants through the summer
  8. Evaluate plants for survival under local conditions
  9. Master Gardeners are planning to grow plants for the retention basin landscape.

Click here for: Suggested Plants for Retention Basins and Rain Gardens

Click here for:  Bio-retention and Rain Garden Information

Click here for: Storm Runoff Volume Calculator