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Project Neutral Transforming Riverdale and The Junction into Low Impact Neighbourhoods

The path to clean water begins in your own backyard


RiverSafe Communities
5 Things You Can Do For the Don (Toronto) 1996-1998 WaterLinks/CommunEAUt (City of Ottawa) 1998-2001 Nine Mile Run RainBarrel Initiative (Pittsburgh) 2003-present RiverSmart Homes (Washington, D.C.) 2004 - present

Homeowners Guide to Rainfall ( Municipal Low Salt Diet** Water In the City Walk** RiverSafe Carwash Campaign**

RiverSides is the R&D design home of Resilient Rain; our vision and passion to protect rain, where it falls, and the clean rivers that flow from doing so. Resilient Rain transforms neighbourhood rain barrel programs from discrete, unproductive, and unreliable into a stormwater smart grid for providing effective, reliable and resilient residential LID.

Watersheds and Stormwater Runoff

Very little Runoff Top Soil


Hydrograph Summary

1 2 3

Existing Developed, conventional CN, no control. Developed, conventional CN and control. Developed, LID-CN, no control. Developed, LID-CN, same Tc. Developed, LID-CN, same Tc, same CN with retention. Same as with additional detention to maintain Q.

4 Pre-development Peak Runoff Rate 5 5 6 7

2 7 3 6 1

Where Does a Rivers Water Come From?

Tableland run-off constitutes a majority of a rivers flow. Howard, Ron:
University of Toronto, 1996

In most urban centres a rivers flow is subjugated to the land form of the street and the pipe. This is known as the sewershed.

How do you maintain the ecological integrity (ecosystem functions) of aquatic systems (streams)? Scale / Spatial / Temporal / Species
Nutrients Temperature D.O. pH Turbidity Organics Toxics Velocity Frequency Runoff Evaporation Ground Water Flow Duration Rain Intensity Canopy Siltation Gradient Substrate Current Instream Cover Sinuosity Width/Depth Channel Morphology Soils Stability Riparian Vegetation


Flow Regime


Ecosystem Integrity Biotic Factors

Disease Reproduction Feeding Predation Competition


Energy Sources

Sunlight Nutrients Seasonal Cycles Organic Matter 1&2 Production

Goals / Objectives
Community Engagement

Supportive Follow-up
Reduced Combined Sewer Overflows and Stormwater Runoff

Daddy, Whats A Sewershed?

Urban watersheds consist of a labyrinth of combined (sanitary) and storm sewers. Tributaries and creeks were buried in combined sewers replacing the watershed with piped flow. By the 1950s, combined sewers were separated into street sewers and semi-combined (roof downspouts connected). New developments sometimes connected roof downspouts to storm sewers.

Conventional Development

Every aspect of a site is designed to get rid of runoff as quickly as possible buildings, lawns, streets, etc.

Bad Drainage Paradigm

Soil Modifications
Clear Vegetation Remove Top Soil Compaction Change Grades Modify Drainage Destroy Biological Activity Destroy Soil Structure / Function

The Problem: Conventional Site Design

Compaction Cover Collect Concentrate Convey Centralized Control

Conventional Drainage Paradigm

Conventional Pipe and Pond Centralized Control


Street Storage?

Low Impact Development

Multiple Systems

LID Development Conservation

Minimization Soil Management Open Drainage Rain Gardens Rain Barrels Pollution Prevention

Disconnected Decentralized Distributed Multi-functional

Uniform Distributed Small-scale Controls

Maintaining Natural Hydrology Functions

LIDs distributed control opportunities are unlimited when you think small.

Low Impact Development (LID) Goal Maintain and/or restore hydrology and water quality in
developed watersheds to protect ecosystems, meet regulatory requirements and achieve local water resources protection objectives.

A sophisticated technological approach to water resources/ecosystem protection/restoration using new management paradigms, innovative lot level control practices and pollution prevention measures.

Cumulative benefits of LID
principles and practices maintain and/or restore watershed functions in urban neighbourhoods

Five basic steps to LID

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Conservation Minimization Strategic Timing Integrated Management Practices Pollution Prevention

Urban LID Lot Level Control Opportunities

Roofs Buildings Downspouts Water Use Yards Sidewalks Streetscapes Parking Lots & Structures Landscape Areas (trees/vegetation) Open space Pollution Prevention

Multifunctional Infrastructure
Evaporate Infiltrate Retain Detain Filter Use

LID Volume / Timing / Treatment

Engineer a site using micro-scale techniques to mimic water cycle ecosystem functions / relationships. Creative ways to maintain or restore: Storage Volume interception, depression, channel Infiltration Volume Evaporation Volume Runoff Volume Flow Paths / Timing / Frequency Treatment with Soil / Plant Complex
Biological / Physical / Chemical (soils)

LID Suburban Development Approach

Conservation Minimization

DIMPs Pollution Prevention

1. Conservation Plans / Regulations

Local Watershed and Conservation Plans
Forest (Contiguous and Interior Habitat) Streams (Corridors) Conservation Design Goals Wetlands Habitats Marketability Step Slopes Quality of Life Buffers Maintain Same unit yield Critical Areas Protect Natural Resources (50%) Parks Interconnected Network of Open Space Cluster Reduce Infrastructure Costs Scenic Areas Sense of Place with Nature as a Part Trails Development of a Land Ethic Shorelines Conventional Stormwater Management Difficult Soils Ag Lands Minerals

2. Minimize Impacts

Consensus Recommendations Minimize clearing Minimize grading Reduce Impervious Surfaces Conserve Natural Resources Save A and B soils Reduce Stormwater Impacts Limit lot disturbance Compact Development New Development Soil Amendments Quality of Life Alternative Surfaces Conventional Stormwater Management Reforestation Disconnect Reduce pipes, curb and gutters

Better Site Design Goals


Maintain Time of Concentration

Open Drainage Use green space Flatten slopes Disperse drainage Lengthen flow paths Vegetative swales Save headwater areas Maximize sheet flow Maintain natural flow paths Increase distance from streams


Storage, Detention & Filtration

Lot Level Storage Open drainage swales Rain gardens / bioretention Smaller pipes and culverts Permeable Paving Small inlets Depression storage Infiltration Rooftop storage Pipe storage Street storage Rain water Use

Uniform Distribution at the Source

Structural BMPs
LID Development

5. Pollution Prevention
80 % Reduction in N&P

Kettering Demonstration Project

Maintenance Proper use, handling and disposal

Individuals Lawn / car / hazardous wastes / reporting / recycling Industry Good house keeping/proper disposal/reuse/ spills Business Alternative products / Product liability

Using Rain Barrels to Manage Residential Storm Water

Tree Box Filter

Side Walk



High Rate

Storm Drain

LID Residential Techniques

Ecosystem Based Design

Tree Conservation

Rain Barrels
Amended Soils Rain Gardens

Multi-functional Swales

Rain Barrels
Rain barrels work day in and day out to catch rain before it runs into the storm drains Connected to your downspout, rain barrels collect rain water whenever it rains When it isnt raining, rain water stays in the barrels waiting to be used on your garden and lawn

The RiverSafe Rain Barrel

RiverSafe Rain Barrels are secure and safe One piece design, UV-stabilized Low Density Polyethylene No warping, fading or cracks, covered and impenetrable to animals, insects and mosquitoes

2 Stage Filtration System:

Stage 1: retains leaves, twigs and roofing materials Stage 2: 200 micron mesh makes each rain barrel mosquito safe, and filters out sediments and fine particles

Downspout Disconnects / RainHarvestig

Total Water Management

Rain Barrels
Runoff Capture
Piped Consumption Reduction

Limit Stormwater Fees

Rain Gardens

Seeing It All From A Lot Level Perspective

Cities are made up of individual lots and stormwater begins where rain falls so does the solution.

If it reaches the street grate, youve lost more than half of the opportunity to make a difference

Lot level source control utilizes a combination of practical technology, natural systems, and pollution prevention. Whether we refer to the process as Smart Growth or Low Impact Development, the result is to re-establish the predevelopment hydrologic regime.

We accomplish this by recognizing the factors that we have to deal with, and what we can accomplish to prevent CSOs and stormwater flows.

Lot Level Methods for Stormwater and CSO Attenuation

Rain Barrels Downspout Disconnections Rain Gardens and Swales Driveway Grates Street and Yard Trees Naturalization/Re-grading Permeable Pavers

Soakaway Pits
Rooftop Gardens

Riverdale and Junction Neighbourhoods Semi-Combined Sewer System City of Toronto

Downspout Disconnection

How Much Water Does A Rain Barrel Store?

The Canadian Calculation A 500 litre RiverSafe RainBarrel stores 18.87m3/home with a 50m2 average roof size
in an average year.

The US Calculation
Rainfall density x Roof Area per downspout = Volume Measurement
Rain x 350 sq./ ft. (average roof area per downspout) = cubic feet of volume

What Do I Look For

In A Rain Barrel?

West Nile Virus (Mosquito) Proof Children Proof (Enclosed)

Freeze Thaw Tested and Winter Capable

Large Enough Size Does Matter Ease Of Installation and Maintenance Social Marketing Follow-up Service

Potential Problems?
Lack of Permeability Grade of Property to Structure Tree Roots Price Equity/Accessibility Neighbours Inadequate Understanding

Partnerships: Municipalities, community members, local organizations

Good Communications Materials A Great Logo

Community Partnerships for Clean Water

Building Partnerships with Your Municipality

Why Should They Work With You? What Role Can You Contribute?

Social Marketing Your Project

Focus on Action over Education Get A Written or Verbal Commitment Focus on ease of implementation Offer Reinforcements
Incentives Follow-up Education

Ask For Greater Commitment As the Project Progresses