Tag Archives: storm water

Riddell Road runoff distresses pair of readers

The in basket: Two readers say storm water runoff on Riddell Road in East Bremerton just west of  Highway 303 needs attention.

Bob Carter wrote in early March to say, “During  a hard rain while driving west on Riddell Road from Wheaton Way most of the entire lane is water flowing down from further west on Riddell Road. This creates a hazard while driving and the road gets large chuck holes and loose gravel on the roadway.

“I noticed the other day the city of Bremerton was patching the holes but after the next rain there will be additional chuck holes in that area. Water run-off needs to be better contained to keep it out of the roadway.

Glen Adrig wrote a couple weeks later to say,  “Since there is only one drain grating on the north side of Riddell (located close to the corner of Riddell/Wheaton), which is tasked to collect and drain the water run off for about a 1/3 of a mile from the west (from Redwood Plaza, to Peace Lutheran, and on up to Bowwood Circle), each moderate rainfall results in flooding and cars splashing huge quantities of water as they travel past Redwood Plaza.

“The closest drain grating is uphill near the intersection of Bowwood Circle and Riddell Road, and it does very little to mitigate the historic flooding on the north side of the road near Riddell and Wheaton.

“I’ve noticed pavement markings from locator services around the northwest corner of Wheaton Way and Riddell Road. Is this an indication that the city of Bremerton is going to finally address the lack of adequate drainage, and the subsequent flooding and bad pavement surfaces caused by all of the water run off that collects on the north side of Riddell at Wheaton Way whenever there is a moderate rainfall?

“This is a fix that has been needed for more than 20 years, and the city is long overdue to remedy this problem,” Glen said.

The out basket: Neither the patching Bob saw nor the painted markings at the Wheaton Way intersection are indications the city has plans to correct this, though it does. Public Works Director Chal Martin says, “We do have a capital improvement project in our Drainage Utility plan for this work.  It is currently scheduled for design work in 2017 and construction work in 2018.”

The markings Glen sees are on nearly every public intersection along Wheaton Way and are preparation for improvements at the intersections to meet Americans with Disability Act standards for pedestrian access.

The pedestrian signals will be converted to audible-beep buttons that sound when they are pushed, and countdown signal heads that tell those in the crosswalk how much more time they have to get across. The curb cuts will be brought up to current standards and the yellow rumble pads that help the blind know where they are will be added.

It’s a state project on that state highway and is related to the repaving on the highway in the city due in 2017. Work on the pedestrian improvements already has begun and workmen can be seen modifying the  poles on which the electronics are mounted.


‘Enhanced ditches’ worry Illahee area resident

The in basket: Cathy Williams of Sunset Avenue near Illahee is concerned about a project Kitsap County has launched in front of her house, deepening the ditches on Sunset’s west side, lining them with yard bark and lining the culverts with baseball-sized rocks. Plantings will be next,  the work crew told her.

She hadn’t paid anything to have it done, didn’t know it was going to be done and she worried that it looked like problems in the making, she said.

A vehicle straying too far to the right might break down the edges of the deepened ditches, she feared, and it seemed an odd time of year for the work and for planting anything. “We’re worried it will undermine the sides of the street when it gets rainy,” she added.

The out basket:  Mindy Fohn, the county’s water quality manager, explained the work, called “enhanced ditches,” and being done along 400 feet of Sunset Avenue.

“These are similar to rain gardens – where storm water is slowed down and provided the opportunity to soak into the underlying soil,” she said. “The edges of the deeper ditches should hold up just fine, as we completed an installation on Shadow Glen Boulevard (near Bangor) and haven’t seen a problem.  The shoulders will be maintained along with the facility if any issues arise.”

The Sunset Avenue project “was identified in the larger ‘Illahee Stormwater Retrofit Project,’ where the county is working to find methods to soak in runoff or hold it back for a slower release,” Mindy said. “The benefit is to prevent erosion in Illahee Creek and increase the groundwater flow for fish during the dry summer months.

“To hold water back for gradual release, the storm pond in the development of Sheffield Park off Troy Lane (slightly to the northwest) recently was enlarged and naturalized.  In the future, storm water facilities will be enhanced on the (Rolling Hills) golf course – this is currently in the design phase.

“(In) ditch enhancement, the ditch is dug deeper than usual and about 12-18 inches of a special mix of compost and sand is laid on top of the scarified native soils to enhance the ability of storm water to drain into these soils.  We are finding that these systems perform better than expected and do a good job of soaking up runoff during small and medium rain storms, which carry more of the road pollutants. But you will see runoff during the higher intensity and larger rain storms.

“There is some erosion in the (Sunset Avenue) ditches (but) no muddy water is leaving the site.  The erosion will be corrected when it’s planted in 2 – 3 weeks.

“The county has developed a list of mostly native plants for these projects and those likely planted will be slough sedge, slender rush, Oregon iris and coastal strawberry. The sedges and rushes thrive in the frequently wet bottom area of the enhanced ditches and rain gardens.

“Projects are chosen based on known erosion and water quality problems in creeks, estuaries or lakes.

“This project was mentioned in the Illahee Newsletter last summer when we were marking the roads during the design phase. Maybe the county should have done a better job of letting the community know about the project.

“This area of the ditch is fairly flat so we are comfortable with constructing now.  Additionally, planting during the fall/winter is optimum for plant establishment. The county will water the plants with a water truck during the dry season and the plants should be completely established and self-sufficient by the third year. The county’s green maintenance crew will add Sunset Avenue to its growing list of over 80 green storm water sites – rain gardens, naturalized ponds, and enhanced ditches.

“(Ms. Williams) is correct that we didn’t request any funds – as she paid $78 this year for a comprehensive storm water management program which funds many green projects and more.

“For more information how the fees are spent, visit www.cleanwaterkitsap.org.  If landowners are interested in what they can do on their own properties to soak up runoff and receive a rebate of up to $1,000, visit the Kitsap Conservation District Rain Garden Cost-Share page at http://kitsapcd.org/programs/raingarden-lid.”

Bucklin Hill ‘potholes’ are prep work for project

The in basket: Chuck Gurrad says “Recently a road crew installed 24 manufactured pot holes on Bucklin Hill Road between the Tracyton Boulevard-Myhre Road intersection eastward up the hill. They were scattered on all of the three lanes.

“What they were looking for under the asphalt?” he asked. “Do they intend to fill them in properly, and when?

“This was a road in fair condition except for the manhole at the edge of the west bound lane which  needs to be brought up to grade,” Charles said.

The out basket: Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works says, “The potholes your reader referred to were small holes used to help locate utilities for an upcoming stormwater and pedestrian improvement project.

“The holes were patched using cold patch. We’ll send a crew out to take a look and see if some of the patches have come up. The road will be repaved once the project is completed later this summer” Doug said. He sent along a fact sheet, describing the work:7109-CFP Bucklin Hill Fact Sheet (3).pdf

Are storm water ponds mosquito habitat?

The in basket: This is the time of year we are reminded to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, to minimize the possibility of a West Nile Virus illness, among other reasons. Health officials recommend dumping out old tires, rain barrels and anything else where water would be undisturbed.

I think of that as I pass many of the storm water detention ponds that have become a standard part of any road project or housing development. I asked Kitsap County Public Works, which manages those outside the cities and on county roads,  if there is anything the county does or advises nearby home owners to do to keep mosquitos from breeding in ponds that aren’t dried up yet.

The out basket: The county’s Surface and Stormwater Management Program gave me this answer:

“Storm water ponds and other water quality treatment facilities are designed to filter pollution from storm water runoff and reduce flooding. Most facilities built into residential and commercial developments are designed to drain in a few days. This prevents mosquito larvae from completing their development.

“Some storm water ponds and water quality facilities are designed to hold water most of the year or may retain small pools of water. In addition to treating storm water, these facilities are generally designed to provide habitat for many species of frogs, birds, fish and aquatic insects that feed on mosquitoes and their larvae.  The wetland vegetation planted around the perimeter of these ‘wet ponds’ also serves to inhibit mosquito larvae development while providing habitat for mosquito predators.

“A small field survey conducted by Kitsap County Public Works and the Kitsap County Health District in 2003 confirmed that when these facilities are properly maintained they do not appear to create large populations of mosquitoes. This is also demonstrated by research in other parts of the country. Kitsap County Public Works has a rigorous operations and maintenance program to ensure our storm water treatment facilities function properly.

“Residents should not attempt to control mosquito populations in storm water ponds.  The use of larvicides or other chemicals in storm water facilities is regulated by the State Department of Ecology and requires state licensing and permits. These pesticides can be harmful to native biota such as salmon and trout. Storm water ponds often have a connection to natural streams or other water bodies. Because of that relationship chemicals used to control mosquitoes could end up harming fish and wildlife downstream.

“If residents suspect that storm water ponds are not being properly maintained, contact Kitsap 1 by email at  help@kitsap1.com or by phone at 360-337-5777. For information about West Nile Virus visit the Kitsap County Health District’s website at www.kitsapcountyhealth.com or call 360-337-5285.”