Drainage Maintenance

Rebuilding our slopes involved many decisions. Among the more observable is the slope preparation, plant selection and planting design. But, we see only the “tip of the iceberg.” We don’t see the huge amount of time and effort by our General Manager and Facilities Manager to insure that the result is aesthetically pleasing, that it minimizes water consumption and landscape maintenance and that it meets all the codes and permits of the city, county and state. Let me give you a peek at the underside of the iceberg.

A consultant is hired to oversee and supervise the implementation of the Silverwood Landscape plan. A geotechnical engineer is hired to report the stability of the slopes and, as necessary on one of the slopes, design any retaining walls that may be necessary. City permits are obtained and a contractor is selected to build retaining walls.

City permits are required for the landscape design and the irrigation system design. An irrigation consultant is hired to design a system that meets the city guidelines and adequately water the selected planting materials. The city guidelines are a 34-page document that George Cooley reads to confirm that the irrigation system conforms to all of the requirements. Each sprinkler head is identified and annual water usage is calculated based on average evaporation rates. The design must include protection of the slope in case of water failures. Once satisfied that the engineering is complete and permits are approved, a contractor is hired to install the irrigation system.

The state requires that the Association have an approved Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan, SWPPP before we can begin construction. A Qualified SWPPP Developer is hired to write a plan for the slopes we plan to rebuild. George Cooley is the Legally Responsible Person, LRP. He must read a 135-page document and insure that we are in compliance with all the requirements.

Among other things, the document tells us where and how to install straw wattle, how to protect storm drains, how to cover materials, how to clean and fix v-ditches, etc. and etc. A Rain Event Action Plan is part of the document. Any time there is a 50 percent chance of rain George must document the action taken to prevent pollution of water going into the storm drain. If there is more than a half inch of rain, as there was in early

October, George must collect samples from various locations, pack the sample containers in ice and deliver them to a laboratory for analysis, followed by a lengthy report.

The good news is that engineering is done, codes have been met, permits received and we are in compliance. Harvest may now begin planting! Perhaps this short article will answer those who ask “What took you so long?”

—Jack Christiansen