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Maintenance of Green Infrastructure

According to the EPA

"A maintenance program is critical to the long-term effectiveness of GI practices, particularly those that rely on vegetation, such as bioretention and bioswales.

Maintenance can be conducted by a public agency or by a private landowner; mechanisms should be put in place to ensure maintenance is being conducted on all practices. Maintenance needs can be aesthetic in nature (e.g., overgrowth of plants, weeds, trash) or can require partial or full restoration.

Aesthetic maintenance of bioretention areas often consists of weeding, trash removal, clipping and pruning vegetation, and mulch replacement.

Partial restoration may require sediment removal from the inlet or bottom of practice or replacement of plants.

Full restoration is needed when an inspection identifies that performance does not meet the original project goals. For example, the presence of ponded water or wetland vegetation may indicate that the bioretention area no longer infiltrates. Adjustments might also be needed for inlets and outlets."

Recommended maintenance schedule.

As needed‡ (Regular monitoring)

-Prune and weed to maintain appearance‡z

-Stabilize or replace mulch when erosion is evident‡

-Remove trash and debris‡

-Mow filter strip‡

-Renew mulch to replace that which has broken down into organic matter‡

-Replace vegetation whenever percent cover of acceptable vegetation falls below 90 percent or project specific performance requirements are not met.


-Inspect inflow points for clogging (off-line systems) and remove any sediment‡

-Inspect filter strip/grass channel for erosion or gullying and sod as necessary‡

-Inspect herbaceous vegetation, trees, and shrubs to evaluate their health and replant as appropriate to meet project goals‡

-Remove any dead or severely diseased vegetation

Annually in fall‡

-Inspect and remove any sediment and debris build-up in pretreatment areas‡

-Inspect inflow points and bioretention surface for build-up of road sand associated with spring melt period; remove as necessary and replant areas that have been impacted by sand/salt build up‡

-Cut back and remove previous year’s plant material and remove accumulated leaves if needed

Shaffer Excavation is your local expert in Bioswale maintenance. Have Questions? Give us a call! 360-727-3065

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