Our Bay Digest: Many rain gardens failing

Posted: Saturday, June 2, 2012

ANNAPOLIS — A survey by the Severn River Association this month found that 43 percent of rain gardens are not working properly due to lack of maintenance.

Volunteers with the group fanned out across the watershed on May 5 to evaluate 30 rain gardens from Odenton to Annapolis.

Rain gardens are designed to slowly absorb stormwater and filter out pollutants, instead of sending the water rushing into storm drains that empty into creeks and streams.

With the 43 percent failure rate in mind, the Severn River Association is pushing for the county government to spend more money on inspecting rain gardens.

A potential source of funding is a new stormwater management fee on properties that the county will have to establish under a new state law.

"We cannot think of any other use of these public dollars that would reap greater benefits than restoring inspection capabilities," SRA president Duane Wilding wrote to County Executive John R. Leopold.

Leopold plans to appoint a task force to consider options for the stormwater fee, including how much to charge and how to spend the money.

 

(Revised April 2012)