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RainScapes Neighborhood: Carderock Springs

 

Carderock Springs is located in the Cabin John Watershed and was developed in a style where the natural landscape dominates the built environment. Homes were built into the existing topography with an intention to protect the natural wooded setting of the community. This was accomplished by minimizing changes to existing grades and retaining existing drainage courses.

The neighborhood has very little storm drainage infrastructure and an open-section road (no curb and gutter) with grass swales to manage road drainage. While the environment goal of minimizing grading has been achieved, as the community has matured, increased impervious area and yard compaction over time has resulted in a variety of lot-to-lot drainage issues.

Existing drainage pathways now carry more water during storm events than they were originally designed to handle. Over time, many driveway culverts have deteriorated or filled with sediment, reducing storm drainage capacity. Larger storm events exceed the capacity of the swales and/or culverts in some instances, resulting in stormwater flowing from the street across residential lots.

 

 

The community has been selected as a RainScapes Neighborhood based on the large percentage of lot-to-lot and on-lot drainage issues, the lack of stormwater treatment in the community, and the active neighborhood communication and leadership to engage residents.

Landscaping projects that reduce stormwater runoff are called RainScapes and they reduce rain runoff from roofs, residential walkways, driveways, and compacted lawns. RainScapes projects such as rain gardens, conservation landscapes, and rain barrels can add beautiful landscaping to your yard, and help control stormwater pollution and stream erosion. These projects may also help reduce drainage problems from adjacent properties.

 

Carderock Springs Neighborhood Goal

The household participation goal for Carderock Springs is from 42 to 127 homes. This is based on RainScapes being installed on between 10% and 30% of the approximately 425 homes in the neighborhood. We are currently at 1% of the goal, with 4 projects installed.

Residents are encouraged to apply for a RainScapes Rewards Rebate for approved projects that reduce runoff from their private property.

 

Neighborhood to Neighbor (N2N) Grant Project

In 2014, the Carderock Springs community applied for and received a grant to pilot a Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) education and outreach effort to engage upstream neighbors to develop understanding and active participation in addressing lot-to-lot drainage concerns affecting downstream neighbors.

This pilot program is addressing a common problem in residential stormwater management where upstream homeowners that are not experiencing problems with stormwater are unaware of or indifferent to their property's contribution to downstream neighbors' flooding and drainage problems. The goal of the project is to increase dialogue and engagement that results in upstream neighbors agreeing to install projects to reduce uncontrolled stormwater runoff.

 

Carderock Springs Neighborhood Project Map

The following map shows all the current and completed projects that fall within the Wheaton Woods Neighborhood boundary. (Please click the double arrow at the top of the map to see the legend)

 

 

 

 

RainScapes Neighborhood Process in Carderock Springs

The RainScapes Program in Carderock Springs provides a RainScapes assessment for homeowners to identify the most suitable projects for a given property, followed by technical support for homeowners to implement a projects through the RainScapes Rewards Rebate Program. 

 

Site Assessments and Design

Residents who choose to participate in the RainScapes program may sign up for a site assessment field visit on their property. At this field meeting, DEP staff or our consultant meet with the homeowner to assess the nature of stormwater drainage on and around the property, and where and how it could be treated on-site using a RainScapes project.

Based on the outcome of the field meeting, the homeowner receives a site asssessment with recommendations for a range of RainScapes projects that could be eligible for RainScapes Rewards Rebate. The RainScapes Site Assessment does not obligate the property owner to any subsequent activities and is a no additional cost service provided by the County. 

To apply for a RainScapes Rewards Rebate, the homeowner needs to decide which project they would like to do and then submit an application.

  • All planting projects require a scaled drawing with planting plan and plant list to get the project approved prior to beginning installation. For other project requirements and to apply, check  here.
  • DEP RainScapes staff provide technical assistance through the design review process to ensure the project is designed and installed to function as intended.
  • After the installed project passes final inspection, the homeowner submits receipts for eligible expenses for reimbursement, which typically takes 4 to 6 weeks for processing the rebate reimbursement check. 
Site assessments have been conducted for 46 properties that are the focus of the current Neighborhood RainScapes outreach effort in Carderock Springs.

 

How Can I Participate in the Carderock Springs RainScapes Program?

Option One: Request a Site Assessment 

If you are interested in scheduling a RainScapes Site Assessment for your property, contact DEP at  rainscapes@montgomerycountymd.gov or 240-777-7702 and indicate you are in Carderock Springs. Please leave your name, address and contact information and we will get in touch with you to set up a site assessment appointment for your property. 

Click here to see an example of RainScapes Site Assessment Report (PDF, 2.63MB)

You may also go directly to RainScapes Rewards Rebate application site if you already have a project idea and location in mind for a project. The application process will initiate scheduling a site visit with RainScapes staff to look at your property with you and to discuss your desired project. 

 

Option Two: Add Your Existing Runoff Reduction Project to the Map

If you have already taken steps to "RainScapes" your property and reduce your rainfall runoff footprint but did not participate in the RainScapes Rewards program, please let us know by sending a photo and description, along with the address of your project to   Rainscapes@montgomerycountymd.gov. We are tracking the Neighborhood's runoff reduction progress!

You may also be interested to know, that you could be eligible for a WQPC credit through the  Water Quality Protection Charge Credit Program. Use the above link to find out if you are eligible and learn how to apply for a reduction in the annual fee (WQPC) paid on your property tax bill.

 

Questions

For questions about the Carderock Springs RainScapes initiative, please contact Pamela Rowe, RainScapes Planner, at  pamela.rowe@montgomerycountymd.gov Or

RainScapes Helpdesk:  Rainscapes@montgomerycountymd.gov; 240-777-7702

 
 
 
 
 
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