Rain gardens to the rescue?

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By Scotty McDaniel

The city of Shelbyville is currently battling some flaws in its storm water quality management plan.

As a method of helping fight rain water runoff problems, a workshop on rain gardens is set for Feb. 25 at Shelbyville City Hall from 7-9 p.m. The presenter is a member of the Rain Water Alliance.

"It's kind of a new idea to help people landscape and design their subdivisions in such a natural way that it stops runoff into our streams, and it's a money-saver for developers. It's just a win-win situation," Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Coordinator Horace Brown said.

The workshop is for developers, builders, engineers, city and county officials, gardeners and any interested parties.

"I'd like to get officials from Simpsonville and the county to come," Brown said.

Local engineer Kerry Magan said one of his private clients are going to build a development next to the site of the new school that uses the rain garden techniques.

"They're committed to try and do the low impact design that would include rain gardens and different plantings that reduce storm water quantity and filter out storm water pollutants," Magan said.

Kansas City, Mo., got in trouble with the EPA and came up with a goal to build 10,000 rain gardens in the city, Brown said. He said the idea makes sense, and he hopes it catches on in Shelby County.

"I hope everyone gets on the bandwagon and wants to see this type of development because it not only enhances storm drainage, but it naturally waters your rain garden," Brown said.