Rain Gardens

The Valparaiso Department of Water Works, with the assistance of JFNew, Ecological Consultants and Environmental Engineers, has developed a rain garden (PDF) at the north end of the main parking lot located at the department's main office located at 205 Billings Street (just east of Tower Park).
Thistle Bee
The department became interested in constructing a rain garden on its property to control and treat stormwater runoff after attending a presentation by the Valparaiso city engineer. Since the department has a Wellhead Protection Program in place, the rain garden is also a great way to protect groundwater resources.

What is a Rain Garden

A rain garden is a man-made depression in the ground that is used to improve water quality. The rain garden creates a bioretention area by collecting water runoff and storing it, which allows the water to filter slowly into the soil. The filtering process happens when the water comes in contact with the soil and the roots of vegetation.

The rain water is ponded in the depression of the rain garden, where the highest concentration of materials washed off of roofs and parking lots collects. The plants remove many pollutants as the water filters through the mature plants and root systems, which promotes more groundwater infiltration and lessens water runoff.
Queen Annes Lace
Cattails
Pink Flower Bug