Rain Garden Demonstration Project
The Harris County Flood Control District is exploring new low-impact ideas to lessen the burden on neighborhood storm sewer systems and reduce local street flooding. Rain gardens – small, shallow, specially-planted areas that collect and promote infiltration of rainwater – have been used successfully in other areas of the country to reduce flooding risks and improve stormwater quality.
The Flood Control District is working to identify previously cleared buyout lots in multiple watersheds to test this new Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) technology. The goal of the Rain Garden demonstration project is to monitor and document the effectiveness of rain gardens in Harris County soils.
Rain gardens are sized to serve small drainage areas, like residential lots, and are typically 1-3 feet in depth.
Each rain garden will include an overflow connection to the existing neighborhood storm sewer or roadside ditch system. The Flood Control District will construct, plant and maintain the gardens, and collect data on their effectiveness in reducing runoff and street flooding.
Eventually, if rain gardens prove successful in Harris County as a GSI tool for flood risk reduction, the Flood Control District is considering a program allowing neighborhoods and homeowner groups to install and maintain more rain gardens on Flood Control District buyout lots around Harris County.
Once final sites are identified, it is estimated that rain garden construction will take place between March and April 2022.