Demonstration Project

Project Vision

Construction for this project occurred in October 2007, with planting of rain gardens occurring in the spring of 2008. Our vision was to retrofit an older area of River Falls that was constructed before storm water management practices were installed.

Project Maps

  • Project Location Map - This map shows the location of the public projects that will were constructed in 2007.
  • Two Sewersheds Map - This map shows the control sewershed as well as the project sewershed.

Curb Bump Outs

The curb line of the street was bumped out into the existing parking lane of the street and a curb cut provided in the gutter allows water into the practice. The bump out area is slightly depressed to allow water to pond and soak into the ground before overflowing to the existing curb storm sewer inlet. 

These bump outs were installed on Dallas Street and were planted with native, long-rooted grasses. The rain garden on Pearl Street also has a small bump out area to increase the size of the rain garden.

Pervious Pavers

These pavers are similar to regular pavers however they have bumps on the edges to create larger void spaces between the pavers. These spaces are then filled with a granular rock material which allows water to flow through it into a storage layer below and eventually infiltrate into the ground.

These are being installed at the end of the alley to capture the runoff from the alley and the garages along it.


Permeable Concrete

This looks very similar to regular concrete but it allows water to pass through it. Many describe it looking similar to a rice krispie bar. This is the first permeable concrete installed in this part of Wisconsin!

A section of installed curb and gutter was removed on Walnut Street and replaced a solid concrete curb and a permeable concrete gutter section.


Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are shallow depressions planted with flowers, grass or shrubs, that collect storm water and allow it to soak into the ground. These gardens are taking street runoff through curb cuts.

These were installed on Walnut Street and Pearl Street.


Project Background

This project stems out of the Lake George Area Study completed in 2005. This study suggested implementation of small scale infiltration practices on the west side of the Kinnickinnic River. As a follow up to that study and recommendation, representatives from the city, Trout Unlimited, the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust, and the Kinnickinnic River Priority Watershed Project (which includes the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and St. Croix County) met several times to discuss the vision and goals of this project. Our vision is to retrofit an older area of River Falls that was constructed before storm water management practices were installed. We have targeted two small sewersheds (each approximately 6 acres in size) to start a demonstration project for small-scale practices.

Purpose of the Project

The city implemented practices to capture and treat roadway runoff within one sewer shed (area draining to a storm sewer outfall on the Kinni) in addition to private property improvements. Flow monitors have been installed in the discharge pipes for each sewershed. We collected two years of pre-construction data and hope to be able to determine effectiveness of the installed practices with post-construction data. We expect that this demonstration project will allow us to determine if there is enough interest and general acceptance of these practices to consider installing similar practices in other city storm sewersheds in the future.