In 2012, when the city of Puyallup unveiled its first green stormwater infrastructure street on 8th Avenue Northwest, all other municipalities in Washington state took notice.
Today, this street is a shining example of how a city can leverage partnerships and resources to design a project that manages stormwater onsite and diverts it from entering rivers and streams, preventing localized flooding and pollution.
According to Mark Palmer, city engineer for Puyallup, there are 26 permeable pavements, 63 rain gardens, 31 rain barrels, and two green roofs (one at City Hall and one at Group Health) in Puyallup.
At 3:30 p.m. Friday (Oct. 16), a ribbon-cutting ceremony will mark the opening of Puyallup’s latest Low-Impact Development along the 400 block of 3rd Street Northeast and the 200 block of 4th Avenue Northeast.
The project comprised the change of 28,874 square feet of concrete surfaces from impervious to pervious. The city saved on the cost of replacing storm drainage facilities in this area because the project components will retain stormwater runoff onsite and not allow it into the storm system. The amount of stormwater prevented from entering the storm system annually will be more than 687,000 gallons.
The ceremony comes on the heels of new research published by the Journal of Applied Ecology that reported polluted runoff into the Puget Sound is killing adult Coho salmon but that simple filtering methods — like the type implemented in Puyallup — can help fish survive.
Pervious pavement projects in the pipeline include 39th Avenue Southwest in front of Costco and also Shaw Road, Palmer said.
“We’re working with (Washington State University) on a WSU frontage project,” Palmer said. “We already have a grant in place for phase 1 of that project. We also have a $1.4 million line item out of the 2015 state Legislature budget cycle.”
The grant from the state Department of Ecology is for $800,000.
Palmer said WSU’s plan for a food technology building at the WSU Research and Extension Center in Puyallup triggered the frontage improvements.
In recent years the city and WSU partnered in creating the Washington Stormwater Center, located at the WSU Research and Extension Center.
“It’s there to help municipalities and businesses with stormwater improvement requirements and advance LID research,” Palmer said.
At Friday’s ribbon cutting, Ani Jayakaran, associate professor and LID specialist from the Washington Stormwater Center, will discuss the partnership between the center and Puyallup to research and implement low-impact development projects.
Puyallup’s newest LID project will have a lifespan of about 30 to 50 years, Palmer said.
Attendees can expect a demonstration of the pervious concrete at work, depending on the weather.
“I’m hoping it’s raining,” Palmer said.
Andrew Fickes: 253-503-3965