Montgomery County DEP Green Streets Project

Have you been seeing these roadside piles of dirt in our neighborhood?

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They are soil borings–another step in the county’s Green Streets project, which is underway in Sligo Woods–aiming to capture rainwater sluicing down streets and sidewalks, directing it into “bioswales” rather than letting it go straight into the stormwater sewers and then (hot! dirty!) directly into Sligo Creek.  The bioswales will be depressions made in the strip between sidewalk and street, then planted with shrubs/grasses/flowers that will suck up volumes of water and thrive in the conditions of sometimes-flooded but usually dry.  Bioswales are designed to soak up accumulated water quickly.  The soil borings are tests of whether each possible location is a good candidate for draining the water quickly enough (’cause no one wants standing water that doesn’t filter down soon after big storms).
The county’s contractors are doing 120 soil borings in our neighborhood, for each one drilling down 6 feet and then inserting a white pipe into the hole.  The next step will be hosing water into the pipe and then measuring how long it takes for that water to percolate down into the sub-soil.  A soil sample is also taken from each of the boring sites.
The drilling rig looks like this:
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And the auger at work looks like this.
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Questions are welcome to the Environment Committee of our civic association.
Neighbors may also send questions or comments directly to the County’s Department of Environmental Protection; the pointperson for Sligo Woods is Don Dorsey, whom some met at the outdoor discussion held last March.