Raingarden and bioretention assessment protocol

The City of Puyallup is partnering with Washington State University Extension, the Washington Stormwater Center, and Stewardship Partners to create an easy-to-use field protocol for the public on bioretention facilities and rain gardens.

This field protocol is intended to help any interested citizen gather both technical performance and social science data on bioretention facilities and rain gardens. It will allow the lay-person to inspect and report data to stormwater managers on stormwater treatment projects.

Study questions

  • What attributes of rain garden/bioretention contribute most to the overall success of the system?
    • Attributes measured by volunteers and staff through visual observations and simple field or lab tests.
  • What construction and maintenance activities contribute most to the overall success of a rain garden/bioretention facility?
    • The activities analyzed are those easily identified by volunteers and staff.
  • What attributes of rain garden/bioretention facilities contribute most to a landowner's perception of functional success?
    • Attributes measured by volunteers and staff through surveys and interviews.

Study findings

Rain garden and bioretention sites are scattered across Western Washington, and include the 10 study sites sampled by the Bellingham lead Bioretention Hydrology Performance Study. The study will discover and quantify factors that influence how rain gardens and bioretention perform and are accepted by landowners.

Project tasks and deliverables

Scope of work
  1. Literature review, draft creation of protocol, and Version 1 protocol implementation 
  2. Version 2 Protocol materials, implementation, and final protocol (version 3)
  3. Distribute final materials Final protocol, fact sheet, final presentation on protocol development and implementation, and a proposal for regional implementation