Seattle Public Utilities to Conduct Additional Soil Testing

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is continuing to test soil conditions in the Ballard neighborhood to better understand how stormwater is absorbed on different blocks.  This testing will be conducted during the weeks of December 17th and December 24th, and described in the attached letter and shown on the map. I will be following this with personal interest, since it appears that the parking strip in front of my house (or my neighbors, at the corner of NW 77th and 28th Avenue NW) is one of of the sites that will be tested.Ballard_Letter_December_2012(2)

Today, on December 18, 2012, they drilled all day in front of my house.  According to the field engineer they bored down 70 feet.  We will have to wait to see the test data to learn what they have found. We are hopeful that SPU will provide us with the October soil boring data soon!

Soil Testing at 28th Ave NW & NW 77th

Deep Boring to Test Ballard Soil 001

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Ballard Stormwater Updates

SPU Proposes More Ballard Roadside Raingardens

 Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is proposing to try to once again to establish roadside raingardens to divert stormwater from Ballard’s combined sewer system. SPU has identified an area of Ballard that is thought to have sandy soil, rather than the glacial till/hard pan that prior roadside raingardens were sited on. If suitable locations can be identified, SPU would like to develop 20 blocks of roadside raingardens to divert and infiltrate up to 100,000 gallons of stormwater.

SPU presented their proposal to Ballard District Council on September 12th and also at a public meeting that was held on October 2, 2012. SPU materials
Community Questions and Comments   Planned Community Process
Community Response: Cautious Support

Ballard District Council Asks Questions and Responds

On September 12, 2012, Andrew Lee of Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) briefed the Ballard District Council about their proposal for Ballard Roadside Raingardens Phase 2.  As part of that briefing Mr. Lee answered questions that had been posed by the Ballard District Council and the Ballard Stormwater Consortium .Ballard District Council Questions

On October 10, 2012, the Ballard District Council voted unanimously to send a letter to SPU in which they responded to SPU’s proposal and asked for the establishment of a formal citizen advisory committee/work group that would work closely with SPU (and King County) in developing solutions to Ballard’s CSO problems. We are waiting for a response from SPU. Ballard District Council and Ballard Stormwater Consortium Response

Residential RainWise Program is helping but more help is needed

 SPU is encouraging residents, churches and others in the Ballard Basin choose to disconnect their downspouts from the combined sewers and send the runoff into a cistern and/or raingarden. This is one way to reduce the size of the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) storage facility that is needed. As of the end of July, 142 Ballard residents had installed raingardens and/or cisterns with the help of the Rainwise incentive, reducing the CSO storage volume by 40,000 gallons.  While this is good, it is only 25% of SPU’s target (160,000 gallons).   Look into whether a raingarden or cisterns can work for you.
Eligibility Area   Seattle Website  Sustainable Ballard Website

Ballard studies begin

  •  SPU has started to evaluate the effectiveness of the redesigned raingardens on 28th Avenue NW and 30th Ave NW.  In mid- September a contractor conducted flow monitoring tests, which were observed by several Ballard Stormwater Consortium Members. These will be followed by longer term monitoring to assess the effectiveness of the Phase I raingardens in reducing combined sewer overflows.  We expect SPU to discuss these monitoring results with the Ballard community and that they will be considered in deciding whether it makes sense to move ahead with the Phase 2 roadside raingardens. Phase I Monitoring Plan
  •  SPU has also started to test the soil throughout the Ballard Basin.  During the last two weeks of October  the soil has been sampled at locations indicated on the Soil Map. According to SPU staff, the soil boring sites were chosen where there are gaps in historical boring data. We have asked to see the historical boring data for the glacial outwash area, where relatively few new boring have been done.

King County Council Adopts Long Range CSO Plan

 In mid-September the King County Council adopted King County’s Long Range Strategic Plan.  There were few substantive changes from the plan as it was submitted to the King County Council. This plan will affect CSO overflow’s in Ballard at 11th Avenue NW and 3rd Ave NW.

Ballard Stormwater Consortium in the News:

 http://www.ballardnewstribune.com/2012/10/03/news/protecting-puget-sound-one-raindrop-time