Thursday, July 15, 2010

[Midterm] Urban Farm Stormwater Installation Project, Vanessa Nevers + Eva Peterson





Stormwater Ladder On Site

Stormwater Ladder Detail


1. A downspout installation by Buster Simpson


2. Rainwater management system by Buster Simpson


3. Installation at Turtle Bay Exploration Park by Buster Simpson


4. DIY gutter planters


5. Engaging the senses…what can water looks like, sound like?

Sources, Fish fountain:, Chimes:


Vernal Pools

Vernal pools are temporary pools of water. Most pools are dry for at least part of the year and fill with the winter rains or snowmelt. This habitat relates to the infiltration pits featured in our stormwater management system. Like a vernal pool, the level of moisture present will vary dramatically throughout the year, however standing water will not occur.

Flora: Vernal pools are home to many endemic species because of the unique environmental niches created. Different species are suited to different moisture levels, and as water evaporates from the edges of a pool, rings of flowers blossom around it. The color patterns change as the wet season wears on. The rings may form swirls and layers, with the green of new grass surrounding the whole pattern.

Flora commonly found at vernal pools include Downingia and lupine species, yellow pansies, several sweet-scented clovers, a variety of goldfields, button parsleys, yellow and bright lavender monkey-flowers, star lilies, yarrow, and endangered grasses such as Solano grass. A large number of rare, endangered species, and endemic species occur in vernal pool areas.

Text Source: Wikipedia

Image Sources:

vernal pool 1,

vernal pool stages,

Vernal pool flora best suited to the project’s environment:

Large leave lupine (lupinus polyphyllus).

Ecology: moist to wet open habitats, stream side, wet meadows, disturbed sites

Other Notes: Fix nitrogen and fertilize poor soils

Small-flowered lupine (lupine polycarpus).

Ecology: open, gravelly and sandy sites at low elevations

White clover (trifolium repens).

Ecology: disturbed sites (field, roadsides), low to sub-alpine elevations

Springbank clover (trifolium wormskjoldii).

Ecology: moist to wet, open places

Chickweed monkey-flower (minmulus alsinoides),

Ecology: vernally moist, often shady, mossy ledges, cliffs, rocky slopes, found mostly at low elevations

Other Notes: annual herb

Yellow monkey-flower (mimulus guttatus).

Ecology: wet ledges, crevasses, weeping rock faces, seepage areas, along streams, near springs, gravel bars, wet ditches and clearings, common from lowland to high elevation

Other notes: annual (fibrous roots) or perennial (from creeping stolons)

Pink monkey-flower (mimulus lewisii).

Ecology: common in and along streams, especially cold ones, wet clearings, forest in avalanche tracks, mid to high elevations

Other Notes: perennial

White fawn lilies (erythronium oregonum).

Ecology: well-drained ,open often grassy areas, open to fairly dense, rocky woodlands, low elevation

Other notes: perennial herb

Yarrow (achillea millefolium).

Ecology: on dry to moist, well drained, open sites, meadows, rocky slopes, gravel bars, roadsides, open forest, low to high elevations, often weedy at lower elevations, common and widespread

Other notes: possibly too invasive for this application

Plant information sourced from: Mackinnon, Andy and Jim Pojar. Revised Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coasts. Lone Pine Publishing, c. 2004.

Readers- Please let us know if you have additional information of interest regarding the plants above (invasive species, non-hearty plants, etc.).

Other plants of interest:

Musk-flower (mimulus moschatus).

Ecology: stream banks, moist meadows, rocky seepage area, thickets, road sides, other moist shaded areas, low to mid elevations

Other notes: perennial

Fern (cystopteris fragilis).

Ecology: cool, moist to dry, often calcium rich, rocky forest and openings, rock cliffs/crevasses/ledges, talus slopes

Maidenhair Fern (adiantum pedatum).

Ecology: shady, hummus-rich sites, and moist often rocky forests, on steam banks, cliffs, and in the spray zone of waterfalls

Above plant information sourced from: Mackinnon, Andy and Jim Pojar. Revised Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coasts. Lone Pine Publishing, c. 2004.

Comfrey (also comphrey) is an important herb in organic gardening, having many fertilizer and purported medicinal uses. Comfrey is a particularly valuable source of fertility to the organic gardener. It is very deep rooted and acts as a dynamic accumulator, mining a host of nutrients from the soil. This plant is present on the proposed installation site, and may be incorporated into the design.

Source: Wikipedia

Average Stormwater Volume Conditions for Eugene, OR

Monthly inches and hours given are averages over a 50 year period.

January: 7.9in / 143hrs = .055in/hr

February: 5.5in /112hrs = .049in/hr

March: 5.3in /118hrs = .045in/hr

April: 3.1in /73hrs = .042in/hr

May : 2.3in / 54hrs = .043in/hr

June: 1.4in /32hrs = .044in/hr

July: .5in / 9hrs = .055in/hr

August: .9in /16hrs = .056in/hr

September: 1.4in / 25hrs = .056in/hr

October: 3.6in /65hrs = .055in/hr

November: 7.5in /126hrs = .057in/hr

December: 8.3in /140hrs = .059in/hr

Site A: Peak stormwater volumes accumulated in 1hr from the Urban Garden ceramics shed roof.

Roof area = 150 sq ft

Average Peak Volume (December) = .059in/hr = .036gal/hr

Max Recorded Volume = 1.14 in/hr = .71gal/hr

Surface Area of Roof X volume of stormwater gives:

AVERAGE 5.52gal/hr = .09gal/min

MAX RECORDED 106.59gal/hr = 1.78gal/min

Site B: Peak stormwater volumes accumulated in 1hr from the Urban Garden potting shed roof.

Roof area = 288 sq ft

Average Peak Volume (December) = .059in/hr = .036gal/hr

Max Recorded Volume = 1.14 in/hr = .71gal/hr

Surface Area of Roof X volume of stormwater gives:

AVERAGE 10.59gal/hr = .18gal/min

MAX RECORDED 204.48gal/hr = 3.41gal/min


7.13.10 Tuesday

Clean up fascia board

Pick up sample materials

Construction process photos

7.14.10 Wednesday

Create title

Take construction process photos

Complete design drawings

Complete construction drawings

Condense habitat template

Flow calculations

Test fasteners

Upload Midterm Blog Posts:

Presidents, DDs, CDs, renderings, habitat template, process photos

7.15.10 Thursday

Midterm Due

Site clean up

Grade site

Infiltration test (x2)

Remove existing fascia board

Replace fascia board


Revise construction drawings

7.19.10 Monday

Purchase materials

BRING, Jerry's, Eugene Sand and Gravel, Lane Forest Products

Begin constructing Fence drainage systems

7.20.10 Tuesday - 7.22.10 Thursday

Fence drainage project

Construct Fence drainage system and infiltration pit

7.26.10 Monday - 7.29.10 Thursday

Potting Shed project

Construct Potting Shed drainage system and infiltration pit

8.1.10 Sunday

All construction complete

8.2.10 Monday

Purchase all plants needed

Plant infiltration garden and drainage systems

8.3.10 Tuesday

Finishing touches

Document (photograph) projects on-site

8.4.10 Wednesday - 8.5.10 Thursday


8.9.10 Monday - 8.10.10 Tuesday

Compile Final Drawings and Documents

Photographs, final drawings and renderings, final written statement

Upload Final Blog Posts

8.11.10 Wednesday

Final Project Due


Reclaimed boards before and after paint removal and sanding

The project team ready for action

Vanessa sanding the reclaimed boards


Recycled materials will be sourced from BRING

Downspout and gutter prefab sections will be sourced from Jerry's

We then used the prefabricated downspout pieces to experiment with the form and orientation of the system.


Stormwater Ladder at Ceramics Shed

materials: perforated metal downspout and prefab metal elbow

Planted Filtration Unit at Fence
materials: perforated gutter section, substrate,selected plants

Gutter Waterfall Step (Optional) at Fence
materials: gutter section, debris screen

Cross Section of Waterfall Step at Fence
materials: metal strapping connection system, metal screen

Drainage System at Potting Shed

Cross Section and Elevation of Potting Shed Drainage System
materials: prefab gutter, gutter screen prefab downspout elbow sections, substrate, selected plants

Connection detail at planter

Stormwater drainage system and infiltration bed in context

Additional notes: materials will be sourced from BRING, Jerry's, & Eugene Sand and Gravel


  1. your efforts and designs are a great contribution to the urban farm, and will certainly inspire people to think creatively about storm water. I also think that this type of intervention could become a eugene vernacular. I also love your integration of the system into the landscape, and it is good to see that the design involves other improvements to the site.

  2. It is interesting that your systems are made of commonly available building materials and can be adapted to work on small structure. When I walk the alleys of eugene i can imagine the array of garden sheds, garages, and small structures with these type of whimsical creations. I would encourage you to reach out to the community in the form of workshops, or other displays of your creation. The BackYard Farmer may be a good place for you to display your work.
    The issue of regulating water flow to the planted vessels is an are that could use a bit more research as I am not sure how you are going to control the flow of water in large and small precipitation events. Lets set up a meeting at the farm to discuss this further..
    i curious to see how you solve this problem.
    great work!!!!!!!!!!!!