Bioretention Resources
Sustainability for all the places between the buildings.

This is a page for my favorite bioretention resources, from me or projects I've collaborate on as well as from others.

Portland Metro Government: Terminology

Definitions of low impact development pratices that members of the working group believe, after many months of discussion, are simple, technically accurate and can be understood by the average homeowner (i.e. anybody).

OSU Extension Stormwater Solutions: Fact sheets, calculators, planning tools
Stormwater Solutions includes all sorts of practical tools and info on creating a low impact development project, including fact sheets, calculators, standard details, and more! Look on the left under "STEPS TO TAKE". Some of this is specific to Western Oregon, but the fact sheets have lots of great general info and the calculators are for anywhere with a Type IA Rainfall distribution.

Here are a couple of direct links to Rain Garden and Planter calculators:


Size a rain garden online (if your rainfall is a Type IA SBUH distribution, which it is if you're in Western Oregon or Washington or NW CA.)

Size a stormwater planter (a rain garden with vertical side slopes) in Excel (if your rainfall is a Type IA SBUH distribution, which it is if you're in Western Oregon.) and learn what it all means here.

Size a rain garden (i.e. 3:1 side sloped facility that ponds) in Excel.

WSU Extension: Bioretention Soil Mix specs
This Bioretention Soil Mix specification says it's for Western Washington, but per a conversation with Curtis Hinman who headed up development of the spec, it really is for anywhere. I used the mix in Redding in Northern CA and it's doing a lovely job of passing stormwater and supporting plants. It can been tweaked, though. The City of Portland thought they needed a mix with more clay to hold more water to support plants and were only shooting for an infiltration rate of 2 inches/hour maximum, so their "Mix A" spec calls for maximum 10% fine, instead of 5% per this document. They do allow the option to use WSU's mix, though, called "Mix B" in Portland.
Green Girl: Checklists

Sustainable Site Planning Checklist (Excel format, 159 KB)
This is a tool that I created to help me remember to inventory everything that might impact my project. It's a BIG list with room for you to make specific notes for your project in the Excel file.

Best Management Practices Checklist (aka LID Checklist) (Excel format, 390 KB)
This is a tool I created to help me choose from a very large array of practices which ones might be most interesting and implementable for my specific site and stakeholders. This a constantly growing document and I encourage you to come back once and a while to get more practices. I've tried to make the "Green Girl Comments" pretty general, but sometimes you'll probably find a comment specific to a project.
Creative Commons License Site Planning and BMP Checklists is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Use of these is at your own risk.
Improved Nitrogen Removal Design

Design modification to a rain garden that improves nitrogen removal by creating anerobic conditions in an impervious well at the bottom. Remember, this design should be used just to treat the smaller water quality storm (and peat is not the most "water friendly" product since it's dug out of bogs*). Additional water beyond that volume should be able to overflow to an infiltration facility if feasible. Thanks to Tyler Phillips on the EPA's nspinfo listserv for sharing this with me.

*I spoke with a research scientist from the University of Melbourne (Claire Farrell) at a conference and she said they found good nitrogen removal using bark chips (instead of the much less environmentally friendly peat shown in the attached detail). This makes sense to me since, to remove nitrogen you just need organic matter for bacteria to live on and to create anaerobic conditions.

Newsletters & Listservs

Sign up for the EPA's npsinfo listserv here to keep up on the latest and greatest thinking by over 4000 stormwater professionals across the country.

Sign up for the Oregon Stormwater listserv to hear about the latest research and trainings in Oregon.

Sign up on my newsletter to learn about new resources every month. OK, almost every month...

Email me if I promised you something that I forgot to put up here!

Green Web Hosting! This site hosted by DreamHost. This web site was designed with a black background and white text because a rumor was spread by Blackle that it reduced greenhouse gas emissions, but that turned out to be a big fat lie debunked by actual experimentation AND... people had trouble reading my website, so I changed it to white. It's still hosted by Dreamhost, a carbon neutral company. Please consider the environment when printing this or mailing me things or traveling to see me for a meeting or... ohhhh, just do your best and change your practices when you learn something new.

Updated 2 Jun 2010