Feb 22, 2021

Green Area Maintenance in the Spotlight

Success for green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) can only truly be measured years after the plans are stamped and the last plantings are in the ground. The responsibility of ensuring the longevity and functionality of a GSI system rests in the hands of operations and maintenance (O&M) staff.

In a recent video produced by the City of Spokane and The Lands Council, a local nonprofit, Osborn Consulting Stormwater Engineer, Taylor Hoffman-Ballard, PE, highlights the importance of maintaining GSI systems to “keep runoff from entering our storm system and ending up in the Spokane River or in the aquifer. That’s really why we want to have those treatment areas and keep them functioning – to protect those [resources].”

Taylor applied her expertise and ASCE EWRI Certification in Stormwater BMP Operations and Maintenance   to develop content for the video that included an introduction to common GSI components and an explanation of why proper maintenance of GSI facilities is critical to their functionality.

Simply put, to keep a GSI area maintained, three basic tasks should be performed:

1.            Clear inlets and outlets

2.            Remove sediment and debris

3.            Keep vegetation healthy

You don’t have to be an O&M professional to enjoy the Green Area Maintenance video, which goes beyond standard operating procedures to demonstrate why these systems are important and how they benefit the lives around them. The video was also part of a recent Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association (PNCWA) presentation. 

GSI performance is truly taken to heart in Spokane, from City engineers to O&M staff who care deeply about making their home beautiful and sustainable. Having delivered GSI projects for well over a decade and across Washington State, we are passionate about using innovative ways to enhance the communities and neighborhoods around us. The opportunities to work with agencies that are invested in the long-term success of these solutions is what drives our innovation and project success.

Taylor, along with Trey George, an Environmental Analyst from the City of Spokane, will be giving an upcoming presentation on “Overcoming the Challenges Created Through the Organic Evolution of an O&M Program” at the MuniCon 2021 Virtual Conference (April 5th-8th). You will not want to miss it!

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